About Me

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I am an aspiring writer living and working in Hull. I working on a novel, as well as writing short stories to keep my writing skills fresh. I decided to start a writing blog to connect with other writers. So please, take a look around and leave some comments - I'd love to read some of your writing blogs too. Nari X

Monday, 3 January 2011

A View from Year's End

Welcome to 2011 everyone. Let's make this one count. I can't say I'm sad to see the back of 2010. It was a tough year. I shan't say it was long, because honestly, everything since Spring has been a bit of a blur. A lot has happened, A lot has changed. I turned 21, gained a degree and graduated with a 2:1, moved house, bought a wedding dress, even got a job, finally. And I've lost people. Two wonderful people. The greatest role model I think I will ever have the privilege to know. But we carry on. We just have to.

Rob has just set down my manuscript and is staring at me. I'm worried.

I'm actually very impressed. He set out to read  just after lunch (fajita pancakes - lovely), and has got to page 167 just after 10:00. I knew when I handed it to him that there are a lot of gaps, a lot of rushed, unedited scenes, and a lot of things that just don't work, which made it even harder to hand over. But, I had a deadline, and I wanted to keep to it. I should say, I started this post on the 1st, it is now the 3rd. I got distracted, as Rob then proceeded to give me feedback. I have been tangled up in a confusing state of elation, pride, frustration and sulking.

But, all feedback is helpful, I should remind myself. And I should remember not to focus on the negatives too hard. Because a lot of what Rob said was good, and was very encouraging. Certainly for the first two thirds, he laughed in the right places, smiled at the bits I am most proud of, I would say he gasped at the revelations, but he didn't, as he pretty much already knew most of the secrets. This was a shame, as I'd like to see the impact these would have on a first reading. I try to remember his initial reactions when I first told or showed him . 

Either way, the thing that I take away from this initial feedback is that most of the characters, some more than others, are believable and likeable. One or two of the characters, though, need to be developed more, and shown more. Also, quite clearly, the ending needs work. A lot. Of work. 

This is what I have been sulking about. Ok, so it is the part that I have edited, reworked and looked over the least, but it upsets me that this is quite so obvious. There are other scenes I bashed out literally about half an hour before I 'submitted' my manuscript, which my lovely but honest marker said was great. Granted, they were much shorter, but still, I wonder why this is so? I guess it just is. 
But, I should be comforted that all that hard work on earlier chapters obviously paid off. So, more of the same for the latter part. 

Feedback is like medicine - it tastes bitter and like it's probably going to kill you, but in the end it's good for you. 

So, I have a workload for 2011. But the good thing about this whole exercise is that now I have my workload ordered. I have, for all intents and purposes, a manuscript template, with all the bits, or most of the bits, that should be in there marked as 'to be completed'. So for the most part, my second draft aim is filling in the blanks, joining the dots. A little bit of rewriting, then a third draft can be more focussed. That's the plan, anyway. 

And what was I doing while Rob ploughed through my manuscript? I was playing Oblivion, of course. I'm now the Arch-Mage, though it's taken me long enough, and I managed to kill a Xivilai in one hit, which I thought was rather impressive. I snuck up on him, so got 6x damage. I also bought a dress in the Shivering Isles, which I thought looks rather cool, alongside the Sanguine Rose staff. I'm a geek, I know.

Anyway, I hope everyone else is making good progress with their writing, and I wish you all a happy writing year. 


  1. Hi Nari,

    Happy New Year! I feel a kindred spirit - a couple of years ago I was doing all those things (graduating, turning 21, buying wedding dresses. But I certainly didn't have the draft of my novel done then! I also have no idea what Oblivion is, but hey, the dress looks nice!

    I am about to start the novel re-write as well (having smiled and sulked my way through a critique too), so it's good to know someone else is going through the excitement/pain. I look forward to hearing how it's going.

  2. Nari! You are an Oblivion/Shivering Isles fan too! How wonderful. That game did wonders in developing my character Yura-Leigh's personality. With her I ended up completing the Shivering Isles part rather quicker than I would have liked, which was depressing because I love the characters.

    Congratulations on producing your manuscript in time. Now that you have a rounded idea of just how the story will be received, you can start tidying it up!

    Happy New Year to you my dear!

  3. Hi Nari,
    Happy new Year. Congratulations on your manuscript. I hope that 2011 is a successful writing year for you too.

    Just out of interest have you had a look at the UK Author's website? I joined the site a couple of weeks ago and so far I have found it very useful for sharing my work and receiving honest feedback.

    Take care,


  4. Hey Chloe - glad to hear I'm not alone :) I shall be following your blog this year, then, and we can keep tabs on each other's progress. It's always good to know someone else is struggling on too. Good luck with your re-write :)
    HC, yes, I am completely addicted to it. I realised I'd written'Aisles' instead of 'Isles', so I've corrected it... how embarrassing. I love some of the things the Shivering Isles residents come out with, it cracks me up. I also acquired an undead dog whom I grew quite attached to. Unfortunately, he was killed just outside an oblivion gate. Poor little guy. It certainly is great for the imagination! Glad to hear I'm not the only one into it :)
    Thanks, Adam. I will certainly go have alook at that website - thank you for pointing it out :)

    Nari X

  5. All in all Nari I think a soft pat on the back is in order. We all know there is going to be some disappointment to some greater or lesser degree when a piece of work is reviewed, but the key is acceptance. If something was good or impressive... celebrate it.
    Simply by the tone of this entry of yours I think your writing year and your attitude are off to a great start. I'll obviously be keeping a close eye.

  6. A happy writing year to you, too.

    Feedback is invaluable, but sometimes it's too easy to focus on the negatives. Everyone in the world has to rewrite - this was something I didn't learn until I was much older than 21 and it came as a huge shock as I had, until then, been submitting first drafts (blush).

    There's much for you to be proud of. I agree with Tom - a pat on the back is definitely in order.


  7. Nari - wrong link added to my comment - I'm actually at - my system sometimes seems to hang on to the last site I visited! Mind you, Write Space is worth a visit anyway.