Archive for July 1st, 2010

The first rule about Write Club is…

You don’t talk about Write Club! Well, actually, that’s a bold-faced lie – I talk about it a lot. What is it? Put simply, it’s where I learned to write. Any success I have with any of my writing wouldn’t have happened without Write Club, or more specifically the people who lurk within its cyberfolds.

Back in 2007 I received an invite from a friend, hiding himself behind dark glasses and a suspicious grin (well that was his avatar anyway) to join a small on-line forum – a mysterious and secret place where aspiring writers conspire to forge a novel in one year. The idea is that you post up chunks of your novel for other members to review, and whilst you’re doing that, you review theirs in return. So, feeling a little nervous about sharing my work, I took the plunge and began my second attempt at a novel “The Beasts of Upton Puddle”.

The experience was far better than I expected. The level of commitment from the members and the standard of their writing impressed me no end, and pretty soon my own skills started to improve as a result. I’ve signed up every year since, and, of course, I did the same this year too. When I finally stop planning and get down to actually writing Gaia’s Engine, each chapter will be posted at Write Club to get a good kicking critiquing.

Critiquing is massively important. None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes, and this is well demonstrated when you try to write a novel. There’ll be continuity errors, typos, grammar problems, plot holes, character inconsistencies, redundancies, prose problems and sometimes it’ll be just plain crap. The worst thing part about it is that, like a man suffering from extreme B.O., he’s completely oblivious to his own whiff. There are probably errors right here in this blog. I can’t see ’em. I’ve been over it, re-read it a few times, and I just can’t see them. But I’ll bet you they’re there. So just imagine how many mistakes I can cram into a 90,000 word novel! Several sets of eyes on my work is absolutely essential.

Some of you might have seen my challenge on facebook. If not, I’ll repeat it here:
You might not have noticed it, but yesterday one of those ugly mistakes crept into my blog. I wrote, “Who’s house is it?” instead of  “Whose house is it?” I saw it today and bit my fist with embarrassment. It’s fixed now, but it does fit in rather nicely with today’s blog, doesn’t it?

So, here’s the deal. If you find any hideous errors in my blog before I do, and you’re the first to tell me in a comment at the bottom of the post, you’ll get a prize: the next short story I write – you’ll be the hero in it. Deal? Good!

Next time: Skye Writing (no, that’s not a typo – I mapped out some of my book whilst on holiday on the Isle of Skye)