Google+ Followers

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Second drafts and second opinions

Novel number two, a harrowing story with an all-male cast whose lives have been thrown into turmoil by females, is shaping up well, largely due to my husband reading each chapter as I revise the second draft. Thankfully, he says he is really enjoying it, but I can also trust him to be honest when a detail jars or a passage of description teeters into total tedium territory or a character behaves...well, out-of-character. Several chapters have been returned with constructive comments and he is living up to his family maxim that a Campbell - while not always right - is never wrong. (I have spent thirty-one years trying to understand that.) Every time I follow his suggestions, the narrative improves in manifold ways.

This method of working has increased my confidence in the novel. Knowing he is keenly awaiting the next installation is a brilliant spur. He sends me an email when he has loved a chapter, so when it fails to ping, I know further work is in the offing. As a pure reader seeking entertainment and hoping to feel empathy with the characters, rather than reading it as a copy-editor or proofreader, he is giving me the feedback I need at this stage and always suggests wonderful ways out of any inconsistencies or dead-ends in the plot.

In other news, When Planets Slip Their Tracks, my story collection, is due to be released by Christmas if all goes well. Ink Tears, the publishers, say it will soon have its spine, so, with that in place, I am looking forward so much to seeing it up and running.

And finally, Tying Down the Lion has been given a very kind review by Carol Sampson on her website here. Nothing thrills me more than knowing a reader has enjoyed their journey with the Bishops, so, while gnashing my teeth over Chapter Eighteen of novel two before the hubster sees it, her lovely response has given me a wonderful boost.


Adrian (another male whose life is thrown into turmoil by females) with me and our three daughters at the launch of TDTL

8 comments:

  1. Having someone as a second reader that you can trust to be honest with you is invaluable, Joanna. He looks very happy to be outnumbered in the photo! Congratulations on the forthcoming story collection and the lovely review of TDTL (well deserved) xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much, Teresa! You're very kind and I really appreciate it. It was only after mentioning that the second novel is full of males downtrodden by females that I made the connection with my poor, long-suffering husband. His patience in an otherwise all-female house knows no bounds! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a beautiful, happy family photo, Joanna! You are so fortunate in having such a great reader of your work - tell your husband he is a treasure. Mine eventually gets around to reading my stores once they're published, though he's always appreciative of them. But there's nothing to beat constructive comments during the draft stage. Hope that collection gets out for Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Rosemary. I am indeed very lucky. It's such a relief when a chapter gets the thumbs up! And I've since thought of another advantage - after it's all finished, he will be in the perfect position to help me write the dreaded synopsis! xxx

      Delete
  4. What a wonderful husband and family you have Joanna. You must feel blessed. The novel sounds intriguing and I am already looking forward to my second Joanna Campbell novel. Wishing you continued fun with that and hope your book of short stories goes according to plan. I can add that to my Christmas list :) Enjoy your week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Nicola. I am very lucky indeed and I have had the most wonderful year, for which I feel blessed and grateful. Although I love my writing, much of the good stuff that has come of it is possible because of my supportive family and my fabulous friends - especially all my fellow bloggers! xxx

      Delete
  5. That's fantastic Joanna. having such support and constructive feedback is such a gift. It soundn like you are treasuring it, too and captialising on it. I wish you well. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Madeleine. I am very fortunate and you're absolutely right it's a gift that needs to be treasured and I always try to realise, every day afresh, how blessed I am. It's so lovely to have your kind comment. Greatly appreciated. xx

      Delete