Daily Archives: September 21, 2009

Manuscript Evaluation – The Importance of Feedback

I’m feeling good this morning. As I write, ten copies of a portion of a new novel I am working on are being printed. Tonight, I will present the manuscript to a group of grade nine and tens who will act as front line critics for me. A month from now, we will meet again to discuss the positives and negatives of the story. I will also take home with me ten marked up manuscripts. I will pay close attention to their ideas. These are a thoughtful, intelligent group of kids and I am eternally grateful for this opportunity.

I had hoped to be much farther along in the manuscript but due to the fall from the horse in PEI, everything in my life, including my writing was stalled for a couple of months. I considered putting the whole evaluation off, but then decided that if they like the first 30,000 words I will know I am on the right track. If they don’t, it’s the perfect time for a first rewrite before continuing on.

It will be interesting to see how they respond, because I’ve played with POV, length and style. Will they find this confusing? Engaging? Will they want to keep reading?

Thank you to Christianne’s Lyceum for providing this opportunity to local writers. It is an invaluable service. I’ve been involved with the Lyceum in the past when the grade 11, 12 group picked The Perfect Cut for their book club – a very rewarding evening – and I am very excited about what they’ll have to say about this as yet un-named work.

Also worth mentioning, The Lyceum provides writer’s workshops for all ages and year round.

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