Tuesday, 16 December 2008

The Prodigal Penpal Returns

Writers...all artists in fact.... thrive on criticism and feedback; and no one gives better feedback than another writer. In my case, I have adopted a rather intellectual grump of a young man who lives out in the vast nothingness that is outside the CBD and surrounding suburbs to be my penpal, and it is M who sets me challenges and tells me when I simply have to improve.

I like it. I have to say that I can't stand it when someone tells me that my work is really good, when I know for a fact that I can do better. When this happens, it means one of two things. Firstly, it could mean that the person reading my work does not believe that I could do any better. This hurts my feelings. I am capable of a lot, and my readers had best not underestimate me. The second likelihood is that my reader is looking for light fluffy writing that doesn't provoke thought. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I'm not working for the Disney corporation. I write to get my point across. I don't like it when I feel as if I have to make my characters end up together in the end because it's comforting.

M understands all this. He is a cynic. He has very little faith in 'People'.

This week, he has advised me to flesh out the basic structure of the five chapters of my novel which are already complete.

I actually agree with him, come to think of it. The romance between my secondary hero and heroine is loose, and even I don't believe in the need between them to wed.

Whoops, did I just give something away?


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