Monday, September 22, 2008

Two bits of news

Two major things have come out of the TLC writing course being cancelled.

One is that I kept my internal flights to Koh Chang – couldn’t get the money back anyway – and last Friday night, after Music & Lyrics, I decided that I would go and write. So tomorrow I fly down to “Elephant Island” for nine nights to make progress on my book.

The second is the cancellation brought into focus my awareness of my … confidence issues and my inability to keep to my own deadlines. Each time I’ve had any sort of crit I’ve had a corresponding ‘Ah ha!’ moment. I feel sure that had I been in the UK I would by now be doing the OU course, or an MA (Husband's permission permitting). But, I’m not, so a couple of weeks ago I sent my first chapter to The Literary Consultancy to see if they would consider me in a suitable place with my wip for their mentoring programme. This consists of a one to one mentor in the form of an experienced author critiquing up to 10,000 words on six occasions through the year. At the end of the six sessions you can submit the whole manuscript to be read and critiqued by one of their readers.

I heard back from them on Saturday regarding my first chapter. The mentoring co-ordinator was ‘impressed by these opening pages’ and thinks that I have the qualities ‘firmly in place’ that they are looking for in mentees. From the little they've seen 'the novel already ticks a good number of the current publishing boxes.'

I met Julia Bell through TLC who supply writers for Skyros’ Writer’s Labs – Julia used to read for TLC and she speaks highly of them. I have corresponded with Rebecca Swift regarding the holiday and the other services they offer. I also have been in touch with Zinnia regarding her experience and I am impressed with the way that TLC dealt with Zinnia’s criticism and complaint.

Of course there are still no guarantees of anything – they don’t take on only those they think they can whip up into shape for publishing – but I am excited about receiving feedback on a regular-ish basis to the hard work I am doing. I’m really motivated to get on and receive some feedback and am sure that the deadlines imposed will help me to focus and stop … playing Bejewelled.


Yvonne said...

That is fantastic news, what great feedback to already have! I'm looking to send my novel into a consultancy service so thank you for writing about TLC, I will definitely look into them when the time comes!

Flowerpot said...

that sounds really great news JJ and just what you need. It's such a hard business, writing and we all need all the encouragement and help we can get. Go for it! And open a bottle to celebrate!

Pat Posner said...

That's great, JJ! I'm sure it will spur you on to write lots of words while you're at Elephant Island.
Take time out to celebrate first, though.

liz fenwick said...

Great is so good and if it motivates you then all the better.

Doing nothing but writing for nine days........bliss:-)

SueG said...

This sounds fantastic! Well done! Be happy!

Ange said...

Congratulations! That's awesome news. Enjoy Koh Chang, too :)

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

What a great idea. Do let us know how it goes. And while you're in Koh Chang - 1000 words a day, OK?

Debs said...

What wonderful news, no wonder you're delighted.

Elephant Island for nine days, that sounds like sheer bliss to me. Hope you have a relaxing but productive time.


Angie said...

I'm so excited for you, JJ! Nine days in Koh Chang and positive feedback on chapter one - how fantastic.

Have a wonderful, (safe), and productive trip.

SpiralSkies said...

It's an omen - things always turn out the way they're supposed to you know.

How exciting!

Carol and Chris said...

Brilliant feedback honey!! Now go....go write like the wind :-)

C x

Lane said...

Good news JJ. Enjoy your trip.
Go write!:-)

Leigh said...

The novel already ticks a good number of the current publishing boxes.

Now, I swear, I am not sitting here smugly saying... 'what did I tell ya?'

Ha! (Clever, clever, girl.)


JJ said...

Hi all, thank you for your good wishes.