Archive for July 1st, 2010
You donâ€™t talk about Write Club! Well, actually, thatâ€™s a bold-faced lie – I talk about it a lot. What is it? Put simply, itâ€™s where I learned to write. Any success I have with any of my writing wouldnâ€™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 â€“ 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 youâ€™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 â€œThe Beasts of Upton Puddleâ€.
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. Iâ€™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 Gaiaâ€™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. Thereâ€™ll be continuity errors, typos, grammar problems, plot holes, character inconsistencies, redundancies, prose problems and sometimes itâ€™ll be just plain crap. The worst thing part about it is that, like a man suffering from extreme B.O., heâ€™s completely oblivious to his own whiff. There are probably errors right here in this blog. I canâ€™t see â€™em. Iâ€™ve been over it, re-read it a few times, and I just canâ€™t see them. But Iâ€™ll bet you theyâ€™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, Iâ€™ll repeat it here:
You might not have noticed it, but yesterday one of those ugly mistakes crept into my blog. I wrote, â€œWhoâ€™s house is it?â€ instead ofÂ â€œWhose house is it?â€ I saw it today and bit my fist with embarrassment. Itâ€™s fixed now, but it does fit in rather nicely with todayâ€™s blog, doesnâ€™t it?
So, hereâ€™s the deal. If you find any hideous errors in my blog before I do, and youâ€™re the first to tell me in a comment at the bottom of the post, youâ€™ll get a prize: the next short story I write – youâ€™ll be the hero in it. Deal? Good!
Next time: Skye Writing (no, thatâ€™s not a typo â€“ I mapped out some of my book whilst on holiday on the Isle of Skye)