23 April 2013

My Writing Journey: The Bookclub Meeting

Last week, was my monthly book club meeting. But this was not any old book club meeting. This time we actually talked about the book!

I had been feeling nervous about this meeting, as the book up for discussion was the one I have written. I blogged about my jitters here. As I wrote a few weeks ago, after finishing my draft manuscript, I emailed it to the old ducks for them to have a read as our April book.

I felt nervous at what their opinions of the book would be. I also felt slightly worried that perhaps, in asking them to read the book, I was putting them in an awkward position of feeling that they had to be positive to protect my feelings, even if it was no good.

Thankfully, the reaction was positive, and genuinely so (unless they're great actresses!). Our conversations still went off on tangents, but they were tangents inspired by themes in the book. There were a few points of constructive criticism, which I've taken on board. A couple of those aspects I have since been able to address in my edit (which is now FINISHED!). A couple of points which we discussed are inherent in the storyline - they're part of the tension in the book, which doesn't mend all heartache, but I am comfortable with that. I don't think it can be all rosy - that's life.

One comment from the old ducks was that they wanted more - they were disappointed when it ended. I know what they mean. I was a bit too. But I really feel that the story needed to end where it did. I could have written on and on, but it would have ended up as an epic and it would have lost momentum. They asked if there would be a "next book". A few weeks ago, I would have said": "No way!" I felt drained and as if I didn't have another novel in me. Now, well, let's just say I have a few ideas ... In all seriousness, there are a lot of possibilities for a next book - different angles, different characters, following through on possibilities created in the first book. I have ideas of storylines, but I also have ideas about what I would do differently in the writing process. For now, I will note the ideas as they come, but I need to concentrate my efforts on getting the completed book out there. To that end, bit by bit, I'm putting my plan in place (ooh, that sounds a little sinister...).

Something which was said by one old duck, which I cherish, was that whether the book ends up being accepted by a publishing house or not, I just have to publish it. Yes, one way or another, I will :-)


29 comments:

  1. Good feedback for you. I can understand the jitters. I sat through a publishing conversation recently and it appears that there are many DIY options out there. Best of luck - I hope you're picked up at some point. X

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    1. Thanks so much :-)
      Yes, I've been looking into DIY options to see what's out there. That will definitely be the way if Plan A doesn't pan out.

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  2. good on you. I wrote a book last year (no plots - just a book of thoughts) it wasn't accepted by any publishers but I will publish it anyway if the forum is right (ie not sure if it would work as an ebook) - when i finish all my other projects. Good luck with it. Kim

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    1. Thanks. Wow, that sounds interesting Kim, I hope you do :-)

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  3. YAY - so glad you had a good evening and appreciated the discussion about your book. Can't wait to see it published and have a read of it - It's good to say "I know someone who wrote a book" !!
    Have the best day and BIG congratualtions again !
    Me

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    1. Thank you so much - your lovely comments have made me feel so good. Hope you've had a great day too :-)

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  4. Oh congratulations on the feedback! I would have been biting my nails to the flesh with nerves. I really hope you manage to publish, somehow, somewhere. I'd love to read it! And review it!

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    1. Thanks Jodi!

      I'll get there, one way or another. I hope you do read it someday :-)

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  5. Writing - and finishing - a book is an AWESOME achievement! How wonderful to hear that magical feedback, that your readers enjoyed it. You are well on the way to success because it sounds like you are able to take constructive criticism on board, you're keen to improve your work, without being "precious" about it. As an editor, I can tell you that is VERY important! All the best with your publishing journey xxx


    Visiting from #teamIBOT

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    1. Thanks Janet. For a while there, I didn't think I'd ever get it finished, but I'm so pleased that I've managed it. I'm lucky my readers are helpful and kind - having people read something which has been just mine for so long was a huge step.

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  6. Good luck with your book! Criticism isn't easy to listen too but it is so necessary for writers. I'm a new follower!

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    1. Thanks Georgie, and thanks so much for following!

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  7. Aww that's some great feedback and to be asked if you're doing another one means a lot I reckon! I look forward to hearing more, especially how you go with publishing. x

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    1. Thanks Em - I have a feeling it's going to be a long road ahead. You might wish you hadn't said that about wanting to hear more!

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  8. Fantastic news Francesca. That's great that you've already managed to incorporate the criticism into re-writes and feel 'finished' with your draft. Best of luck for the next steps!

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    1. Thanks Lara. Now it's synopsis time!

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  9. Go Francesca. So brave to hand your baby over to others, but glad they loved it. Feel a little jealous & a lot inspired, have so many half-finished bits and pieces on the go, should knuckle down!!!

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    1. Thanks. That's how I felt a few months ago. It had been hanging over my head, unfinished, and I decided I just HAD to get it done!

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  10. Francesca! I'm so happy for you that it went well! You need to publish it! I'm looking forward to read about how you go with this journey. I'm struggling to edit my book. I submitted two chapters to my writing group and I had a good reaction. They are pushing me to go further but I need to get my motivation back.

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    1. Thanks Rita. I really hope you do manage to find your motivation again :-)

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  11. How encouraging it must have been to receive all the positive feedback!!!! Good luck with everything and keep us updated on how you go!!!!

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    1. Thanks, it really was. I will keep you all updated - after all, if I can't blog about writing, what can I blog about? :-)

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  12. That's great they were able to give constructive feedback. Hoping you publish it and looking forward to reading it when you do! Oh and we totally go off on tangents in our book club based on themes in the books we read!

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    1. Thanks so much.

      Yes, well going off on tangents based on book themes was an improvement for us. Usually the book barely gets a mention because we're too busy catching up!

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  13. You must be smiling from ear to ear right now and rightly so! I can't wait to read your book xx

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    1. I really am. Even my synopsis is nearly done. Fingers and toes are crossed :-)
      xx

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  14. That's very brave of you, I would have been pretty terrified! But it sounds like it was well received, so well done!! Good luck getting it published!
    How did you start your book club? I'd love to be involved in one.

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    1. Thanks, it was scary, but worth it.

      A few of my local friends formed one a few years ago and I joined last year when I'd weaned Miss A and could leave the house at night. There are six of us. We meet monthly and read one book per month for our chat. But, sometimes talking about the book is secondary to catching up ;-)

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  15. Wow, a book, I can understand how scary and exciting that must be! I love my bookclub, although we go off on tangents an incredible amount also. But it's kind of what I love about it. Plus I get to catch up with friends I only ever see at bookclub, and that's really nice. Best of luck with the journey to see your writing in print!

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