Jennifer has completed the second chapter of her novel and dealt admirably with the copious feedback. When I hadn’t heard back for a few days, I worried she might have cut off an ear or similar but turned out she was on holiday – phew!
While getting detailed and specific feedback is the fastest way to improve your work, it can be tough in the early stages of writing when aspiring writers have the kind of crazy idea that they are either talented or not. There’s a perception that talent requires no feedback, it just is.
Writing the first draft is just that, drafting – like sketching in preparation for painting – real writing is the draft after draft after draft x10 or x100 until it is a polished manuscript.
Think of any writer you admire, I guarantee that get feedback from someone they trust and that they write in excess of a dozen drafts.
So here’s Jennifer’s take on Chapter 2 feedback:
I’m happy to report that Chapter 2 of my novel has now been written, and Amanda’s feedback has been an eye-opener, to say the least.
The first thing I can say after this second lot of feedback from Amanda is … WOW! This novel-writing thing is not as romantic as it sounds In fact, it’s plain hard work. I’m only up to Chapter 2, and having written approximately 10,000 words, with at least another 50,000 to go, it’s scary to think that this is only the first draft.
Then the enormous challenge of going back to revise and edit every single one of these words I’m writing will begin. I don’t even want to think about how long that whole process is going to take.
Aside from the sudden fear of all the work I now realise is ahead in order to complete this novel, I also have a renewed awareness of what it takes to be an author. I am utterly and completely in awe of published authors…especially those who have 2+ novels sitting on the shelf! And I thought doing a marathon was a big deal!
Although I find writing therapeutic, it hasn’t taken me long to realise that I will need to find ‘research’ appealing too. I’ve never been big on researching though. Even when I was writing essays for school or uni, I always seemed to find the quickest path to get the final product done and dusted. And somehow, passed with flying colours! I guess I got away with it back then. But when it comes to writing a novel, set in the early 1900′s, in a country I’ve never even set foot in, and based on the lives of people I’ve never actually met…now, that’s another story!