Friday, 22 August 2014

'Tis Better to Give Than to Receive... Or is it?

Right now, I'm waiting on my peer review. It took five years to write the book and all year so far to fine-tune it and make up an ending (including a dude that looks like Daniel Craig because I'm the author and I can make that happen!).

However, I'm not just waiting. I'm providing others with feedback, too. Essentially, I'm reading one book every week or so and providing feedback in the hopes that it will make the writer's work that much better and accessible to a broader audience.

It's amazing what you can learn about someone from reading what he or she writes. For instance, the story I'm reading right now is a political thriller and the author has a lot of opinions that get threaded throughout, such as "everyone knows that such-and-such federal policy would lead to problems," or other things phrased like that. It shows a bias and shifts from telling a story to telling the reader your opinion about something (as the writer).

I'm advising this person to make the author's viewpoint the viewpoint of the story's main character. This way, we as readers learn more about the character's makeup and ideas and feel less like we're being told something.

That is one of the biggest challenges of writing: showing instead of telling.

Being able to assess someone's work objectively is easy enough when it's not familiar to you, but it's a whole different ballgame when it's your own writing. Having sent away the draft, now I have to wonder: what have I revealed about myself in my writing? What biases of mine am I blind to? What obvious things will be pointed out to me in this process?

I hope all the obvious things that have flown right by me will be pointed out to me in this process. I'm sure there are at least a few. I hope that light bulb goes on and stays on!

In any case, thanks for tuning in and I hope I have lots to do once the reviews are in... but in the meantime, I have a lot of writing to do.

-Jane's Author

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