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I am keeping this short today as I am very tired!

We had writing group this evening and it went very well.  I took some poems for improvement and it was remarkably painless: a few lines to tidy was about it. I am planning to read Cicero at the open mic, which is a little political: I still think it needs improvement but none of us could decide what! So I will read it and see how it feels as a performed piece.

When I got home, I had a most unexpected visitor: a lizard on my doorstep.  How marvellous – it’s the first one I have seen since living here in the countryside, and I hope he made it home to a cosy corner somewhere.  I love seeing the wildlife here – from rabbits to foxes, badgers to bats, hedgehogs to bees and beyond, it’s an absolute pleasure.

I can see why so many writers make worlds for them, they positively demand a storyline!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

 

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Sometimes writing group turns into more of a reading group, where we talk about the relative pros and cons of certain styles of writing.

Today, it was the frustration of an unfulfilling ending, something I have mentioned a few times in my Challenge Tuesday posts (here and here, for example!).

As a reader, it’s one of my top peeves.  To invest time, energy and emotion into a book only for the ending to be missing, weird, make no sense or just generally not be what I want it to be, feels a little like a betrayal of trust.

However, as a writer I appreciate that a story has to reflect my viewpoint, and the ending has to be real for my characters.

But would someone else reading my book find that ending convincing?  Or would they want my characters to have entirely different futures from the ones I have offered them?  Would a reader want a different murderer in the whodunnit, a different outcome in the suspense, a different choice for my pregnant teenager?

As writers we decide on the story we choose to write: we have to hope any reader will accept the choices we have made along the way, and enjoy the journey to get to them.  As we edit, proofread and prepare our work for market we may consider these elements but we write the stories that come to us, and we can never make everyone happy.

Some of the best learning I get as a writer is to read work that I don’t enjoy.  That sounds odd, I know, but if I love a story I lose myself in it.  I don’t analyse what works because I am too busy being a reader to be a writer.  On the other hand, anything that doesn’t work, that takes me out of the story and challenges my reading zen, I can clearly identify.

I can check my own work for those elements and remove them.

So sometimes when I can’t get satisfaction as a reader, I can engage my writing brain and have a brilliant lesson from that point of view instead.  I can more objectively assess what elements are successful too, because the whole experience becomes more analytical. I can take that novel, and make it a textbook.

In other words, I can take lemons, and make lemonade. Every book-filled cloud really does have a silver lining!

Happy writing

EJ

🙂

 

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