Tag Archives: workshopping

“would they really do that, in a romance novel?”

gah!

Last year was chockers with questions like that, for me. Most of my workshopping time had to be used defending or explaining paragraph lengths, word choice, POV, character traits…

I did my first workshop of the year, the other day, and I still had those kinds of questions. Only this time, my teacher stepped in and answered on my behalf. And then asked the class if they knew who the most successful Melbourne writer was – by miles.

Stephanie Laurens, of course.

Ah! My work has ears that understand its conventions! Still, it also made me realise that hard as last year was, it improved my work immeasurably to be always writing beyond myself.

re-drafting

just sent Valerie Parv/fairygodmother the new draft of my first chapter and I am…nervous.

Redrafting and re-imagining something that you’ve already written is not easy. And it brings the risk factor in all over again. Some of the things I’ve had to deal with:

1. My hero is a charming rascal, but I had some feedback that made sense to me that he’s a little bit too farcical, i.e. he doesn’t allow room for an emotional journey. I’ve re-imagined him so that his charm is more obvious as a kind of defence mechanism/character flaw to hide his awful loneliness.

Given all the angsty alphas I’ve been reading lately I may have just – ever so slightly – overwritten him in the other direction.

2. Am I actually writing a completely different story? Have I lost everything that made that character what he was? This is really tricky, because he looks the same, is called the same, is being thrown into the same circumstance, but…

I imagine all writers face this when they work on manuscripts over long periods of time, because what you’re interested by changes over time, too.

3. Somewhere along the way I’ve lost contact with my “voice”. I feel like I’ve been improving so much as a writer and learning my craft/the industry. But I realised during this redrafting process that I was writing according to what makes a good scene and according to different feedback I was getting.

I took a deep breath and attempted to get back to what I love about romance novels and romantic heroes and write that. Save the rest for second-drafting. This makes it all the more terrifying to let someone else see it, because it feels raw.

Lucky for me, VP is the best mentor in the world, and I’m sure she will say whatever she has to say with great tact and encouragement, as always.

Will keep you posted.