On Saturday we went to buy a telescope and the poor man in the telescope shop was exposed to my daughter’s unflinching honesty.
‘No, Mum – you can’t buy it, it’s just another piece of old junk to clutter us up. You ‘ll look through it once and we’ll have to live with it forever – and it’s really ugly.’
The man scratched his head and went back to explaining equatorial mounts.
I felt for him; In the last few days, I’ve found myself exposed to similar clear thinking criticism and it’s hard.
Normally, when I write a book, I get to go back to the beginning and re-write before ANYONE else sees it. I can iron out all the hideous bumps, excise a character, whip out a weak joke. Not so, the Story Adventure. Already the prologue and the first two chapters are out there, anyone can see them, anyone can comment. It’s actually quite scary. And has required an instant thickening of the skin.
Yesterday, a child said of the first chapter:
that is quite good but i think it could have more description and imagination in it
It made me feel like eating an entire packet of Tunnocks Tea Cakes and hiding under the duvet. I panicked and wondered just how I could face writing the other 18 chapters under such critical gaze.
So I had to look up a nice review on Lovereadingforkids – to make myself feel better.
Dear Scarlett is an extremely funny book. I like how it’s something that wouldn’t happen every day but yet it’s really realistic. If I had to sum it up in one word I would say unputdownable.
From another child – which made me feel better.
And then I went back to the Story Adventure and flicked through the comments. And breathed in the enthusiasm and generally felt much more able to face the next 18 weeks – after all – the on-line version is not the final book, the final book will be better, it will have more excellent ideas that have time to mature and wind their ways properly into the story.
It will be more story and less adventure.
In the process of looking through all the comments, I found this.
This is a really great experience to actually be helping an author write their book!! It’s Brilliant!! It will be Great to see what the book turns out to be like!! Thanks Fleur xx
And remembered why I was doing it.