Sunday, December 07, 2008

Mentoring

Last Thursday evening I got my second report from my mentor.

There was always the potential (in my head) that the first 10k of words was a fluke and she’d come back and say “Oh dear, what happened to the second 10k?”

But I am a bit excited. I love how she’ll say something, such as “you have a tendency to do this…” and I go and look at it thinking ‘Do I?’ and yes, she’s right, so I do. I love how she’s not spoon feeding me but is highlighting things (tendencies) for me to identify and amend: all the while being there to feedback to if I don’t understand. Personally, I think it’s important for me to learn how to spot this stuff myself and what I intend from this experience, is how to stand on my own two feet with my work.

About one scene, she said: “… far and away the strongest passage is the conversation between M and her mother in C’s study. This is packed with dramatic tension, pathos and humour, beautifully balanced in that you invite us to sympathise with both women in their troubled relationship. The narrative pace is spot on…

Coo.

Fancy that.

I worry a lot about everything narrative pace. My notion of pace is based on a woolly feeling such as ‘ooh, isn’t it about time we had a bit of a drama?’ I have absolutely no idea how to decide these things in any other way, so it’s a boost to hear that it’s working.

Today I was on ‘take Daughter and Friend to a party’ duty. I took my laptop to Starbucks while I waited for the pick up and wrote 720 words and felt myself getting back into the flow.

It’s so exciting. I am so excited.

(Please forgive the me me me-ness of this post)

13 comments:

Calistro said...

That's fantastic JJ. You really seem like you've got yourself one very good mentor. Here's to the next 10,000 word! ;o)

Debs said...

You're doing so well. Well done on the word count, whilst waiting for your daughter and friend too.

HelenMH said...

That does sound exciting. I'm so pleased for you.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

JJ, sweetheart, nothing to forgive. It's really interesting to learn a bit about how the process works.

Lane said...

Nothing me-me about that. It's great to share the good bits (and those are very good bits) of the writing process. God knows we all have enough bad bits.

Well done JJ. Your mentor sounds great and you're doing brilliantly. x

KAREN said...

It sounds like a really postive experience. Feedback is such a good motivator (as long as it's constructive!)

Ange said...

That's awesome - great feedback!

Lazy Perfectionista said...

Well done you!

Carol and Chris said...

I echo what everyone else has said!!

Well done you...your doing brilliantly :-)

C x

JJ said...

Calistro, thank you. Yes, she's good and I'm getting on well with her. It's what I needed clearly.

Debs, thank you. It was my only 'window' yesterday.

Helen, Thanks.

Zinnia, I don't mean to be coming across braggy ... I'm just astonished at some of the things I appear to be doing well.

Lane, of course there were plenty of ... if not 'bad' exactly, then 'need to be addressed' issues too. (I'm just not publicising them!)

Karen, it seems to be working for me, yes.

Thanks Ange.

Lazy P, thank you.

Carol, you got it twice: by phone and by blog! Thanks hon.

marmiteandtea said...

How fantastic, Congratulations! Keep up the good work, I'm sure those comments gave you a boost.

SpiralSkies said...

Wow, no wonder you're excited!

Brilliant to hear you enjoying it so much :0)

Angie said...

That sounds fantastic, JJ. Well done. Keep up the good work!