So excited. My great, brilliant, screenwriter friend finally read my book and had LOTS of positive things to say. She also had some great critical feedback for me. I feel so blessed to have such a talented friend who was willing to read my work. Not only that, this weekend she came round (with her adorable 5-year-old daughter) to hash out some of my issues (in the book, not in my life – although she’s good at that too!).
While her daughter Sophia drew princesses and castles and played with her dress up dolls book, Becca and I went through some of the bigger issues with my book. It was such a fun, exciting session – ably assisted by white wine and rice crackers (an excellent combination). She asked me some good questions and made me look at some of my scenes, my character motivation and where the story worked and where it lagged.
As a result of our three hour long session, I now have a LOT of work to do on my manuscript. I’m planning on totally reworking the first two chapters and beefing up some of the middle of the book. I’m going to have to work on this in increments, but am excited to try and brand new opening to my novel. I’m off to kill some of my darlings. I have several more weeks – if not months – worth of work ahead, but I’m excited to get cracking on making my novel even better, tighter and readable.
I cannot say enough about having someone to bounce ideas off. I’m honoured I have someone I trust to do that with. I highly recommend it to everyone. Find a person or a group who is willing to pull no punches and whose work you trust implicitly. But don’t forget to hold on to your own instincts. Don’t listen to TOO many people or you’ll get overwhelmed. I loved some of Becca’s suggestions and her insights, but it doesn’t mean I’ll take them all on board. As she pointed out, I’m lucky I’m not in one of those horrible meetings where some idiot producer is saying, “I LOVE your story. Now, all you need to do is make change your main character from a cupcake baker into a rock star with a heroin addiction!
Now all I have to do is juggle my “real” job with all the work I’m doing on the second draft of my novel. Onwards and upwards! How many of your darlings have you killed? How gut wrenching was it for you to cut out scenes or rework entire chapters? I’m actually excited about my new opening chapters and can’t wait to get started.