Monday, February 16, 2009

A Flurry of Reading & Responses

I checked my email first thing this morning had one from a friend who has been requested to do a rewrite, and two from another friend who had read a couple of my unpublished stories for the first time and was kind enough to supply some feedback.

The first email also contained the editors letter so I went through the story and pointed out some possible changes to meet the editors requirements. I detailed half a dozen or so things which I believe would improve the story and smooth things over with the publication.

The feedback on my own stories was pretty good and on the mark from what I believed the case to be. All of my efforts up until this year and my work on Newland, have been somewhat cliche. And that's okay. The stories in the last year or so have been steadily getting better in technique and now this year I think I've begun to move away from what's been done before.

I would still like to find a home for these older stories, and I'm sure I will one day.

All of these emails confirmed in me the love I have of working with other writers. I love the collaborative process of brainstorming with another person, of kicking around ideas, of suggestions and improvements. I love working with someone on a piece and seeing it develop into a good story.

I currently have three people who are not related to me, actually they're not even in the same country, who are willing to give my work the once over, and who I am more than happy to do the same for in return.

Two of these people I have been working with for at least a year or so. I'd like to think we each bring something a little different to the table, but we all hold a love of the craft and an ability to be honest without being totally brutal. I'd like to think we trust each other - I know I trust them them. We don't always agree on things, but we don't labour the point either. If one of my suggestions has been ignored on a subsequent draft, I'll usually overlook it and move on in my efforts to help improve the piece (unless I think it is a big flaw and then I may mention it once or twice more).

Writing can be an isolated vocation. I love people who comment on my blog. I cherish those who read my work and whose work I read in return. I enjoy surfing around the place and finding new sites and new writers to read and to leave comments for.

I've built a list of blogs and sites I regularly visit. I know it needs updating as I visit more than what is currently listed, but who do you think writers should know about? What are your support mechanisms to keep the isolation at bay? We all have supportive family and friends (I hope), but what about outside that?

And let me know what additional links I should add to the side bar.

Speak soon


1 comment:

  1. It's good you have those writers to work with. I had a writer-friend like this when planning my novel and managed to get a full outline done, which was awesome.

    My main support groups are bloggers (like you) and my partner and other housemate. It's great to have those people.

    I'll have to sort through the rest of your blogroll. I'm slowly finding more and more of the AHWA guys around.