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Never let an author review his own work

My last post ended with a piece of unforgiveable conceit: "I know it's good."

Oh yeah? Well try reading it to your friendly local authors' group and be ready to duck. Having shirked my duties on completing the bomber story, here I was facing some frighteningly accurate flak. The prose was OK, nobody had a problem with that, but the structure? On what planet can you squander 1,800 words of a 2,000 word story just on the setup?

Obviously, they're misguided idiots who don't know good writing when they hear it.

Then I read it to my brother. And found myself dodging shrapnel again. "Well, clearly you're having fun with the writing, but what the hell's going on with the story? I was just getting interested when it all ended suddenly."

Trying to ignore the disturbing similarity to comments from my wife on unrelated matters, I prepared to explain why he was wrong. But of course, he wasn't. And nor were the Renegade Writers. My superbly crafted wordsmithery wasn't worth the electricity needed to shred it. Then the probing searchlights turned into the light of dawn.

"It's a good start to a novel, though. I'd definitely read that."

Now there's a thought. I bounced the idea off Peter Coleborn, publisher enxtraordinaire, and infallible oracle. "Yes, that would work.but only after you've finished the rewrite of The Larks and given me a complete manuscript of that bloody bomber story before we have another war."

So that's another one for the back burner. Unlike most of my projects, the plot is already floating around my head, and I can't wait to get started on it. But Dad says I've got to finish my homework.

Then I can go out to play.

 

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