A postcard from writer’s summer camp – week #4

Well hello there!

Could somebody please tell me where the time has gone?

I can’t believe that week four of my six week summer writing and editing boot camp is drawing to a close already.

Despite pre-camp jitters, working one-to-one on the pre-submission draft of my children’s book with an independent critic is proving absolutely invaluable at this juncture.

A third party editor obviously brings technical and literary expertise to the table but equally importantly, she has no reason to be too kind to me – a worry that I associate with getting friends and family involved in the review process.

This is a good thing, and true to her word she is being straight up with her likes and dislikes.

Until four weeks ago, I hadn’t looked at this book since my final read through on Christmas Day of 2010.

Whilst I probably hadn’t intended on letting the dust gather for as long, this hiatus has helpfully put a bit of distance between me and the story, making it far easier now to chop words ruthlessly where necessary.

Thankfully, feedback on the book thus far has been very positive (phew!) with the main gist of any constructive critique being around the need to incorporate more “show not tell” language and also to ditch areas where there is surplus waffle and fluff (to give it it’s technical terminology ;))

The thing about writing pre-teen fiction is that there is slightly more scope to explain scenes rather than just leaving it up to the reader’s imagination, but I’m learning that it’s a fine line between that and spoon feeding.

I feel that the balance is much improved on this front and can now see the impact that a few basic tweaks can make to the overall flow of a paragraph.

With two weeks to go, we have another ten thousand words to cover before we reach the end of the book.

The story is about to peak. On the downward slide, I anticipate that we shall start taking a step back to concentrate on overall thematics and structure in addition to the chapter by chapter reviews and re-edits we have worked on each week so far.

There’s still time for the plot to take a serious nose drive and so keep everything crossed for me please!

Wish you were here!

Have a great weekend!

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