July 31, 2013
I've just finished the first draft of my novel - which is at least aiming to be a thriller - and would really value some constructive feedback as I seek to improve the next draft(s). In an ideal world, I'd like to have an agent by the time I return to work; failing that, I'd be happy to consider e-publishing, but that's something I'd only have the guts to do after having received some honest feedback from people whose opinions I value. Either way, the turn of the calendar year is the deadline I'm working towards. I also have a few half-formed ideas for a second novel which I'd like to get to outline stage by the time I return to work in January.
I've had my head down so far, desperately trying to get to the end of my first draft. Being away from the office has been great in terms of opening up loads more time to write, as well as to read other people's material; but it's a bit of a lonely business. I'd really value the knowledge and mutual support of others who are seeking publication, as well as the opportunity to give and receive feedback. I have a few people reading my first draft at the moment and I've asked them to be honest - but ultimately they're friends, and friends are always going to be a bit worried about telling you what they really think if they're concerned it will hurt your feelings. I'd hope that a group like this will involve people who aren't afraid to be honest, but will do so in a way that gives me constructive ideas I can take away and use rather than just leaving me sobbing into my coffee...Needless to say, I'd hope I could do the same.
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From a former colleague who's a member and has found it very useful.
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I'm a 37 year old wannabe writer, currently one month into the six months of unpaid leave I've taken from my day job as a civil servant to try and get my first novel into a publishable state. I live in Lewisham with my husband and two cats.