The author of Tollyported:Two Spins of a Quantum Yarn
& Col's Phantasm Speaks
....her thoughts & review on "Redemption"
And so to your manuscript.
First off, you express yourself in writing very well indeed. A lot of your writing is lyrical and your conversations between the characters have realism. I also like the device of going back and forth with the story and amplifying it each time. It is overall a very strong story emotionally. For this reason, I believe you should take it further.
Secondly – I realise that this is what you wrote in the hectic time that is Nanowrimo and that it is therefore just a first draft. Because of that there are some grammatical errors (though some of them should be left in as they express the character of the people in the story – a sensitive editor would know what to correct and what to leave as it is.)
My main area of difficulty is sometimes adjusting quickly to the changes in voice – who is relating the story at any one point – and I was not always sure exactly when it was Alicia in the main story and when it was her book that was being related (unless the names were there). Also, while I appreciate that you intend the entire story to be told over three books and that this is only a first draft and possibly incomplete due to having been writing for Nanowrimo, I think that for each book in a trilogy the story must come to its own completion that allows the once off reader to feel they have read a strong natural ending but which when they see the next book they are already lured into reading the next book to see what happens further. Having said this – I am well aware that what you have written is only the first draft (but as I said above – it is written strongly).
Ongoing, I would like to suggest that if you have not already got it, you buy the book “The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop: A Guide to the Craft of Fiction” by Stephen Koch. If it is not in Exclusives, you can ask them to order it for you. I recommend this book because it not only deals with the craft – but also with the psychological process of writing, which I think you would find interesting. Koch also deals with how and what to do with different drafts. You have a very powerful first draft and I think that this book will guide you well with the second draft. After you have refined the story with a third draft, I would suggest you submit it to an agent or to a publisher. You can always ask a professional editor to look over it for editing beforehand as a check. From what I read, Nanowrimo”s Office of Letters and Light is moving into the area of helping their Wrimos to refine their drafts and I am sure that they can also offer editorial help or direct you to where you can source this. But get Koch’s book first – it is so clear how much he appreciates and encourages a writer’s love of writing.
As to publication – when you feel ready to publish, I would strongly recommend that you contact one of the publishers that specifically deal with women’s writing – Kwela and Virago Press spring to mind.
Well – that’s my commentary. I was most impressed by your draft and the quality of your writing. Keep on going! Your writing should be published! Get re-drafting!
Thank you Fiona for this in depth review....
The author of Poems that Fuel Thoughts
....his thoughts & review on "Redemption"
One could maybe give a description of the institution in order for the reader
to create more graphical sense of the surroundings Alicia Woods had found herself in.
There is cohesion in the story from chapter to chapter albeit at times its jumps a few thoughts
into the next where some readers may lost what they would thought they follow.
Its not a problem for me as i do understand the train of thought that fueled you into writing such a journey into such character, you portrayed.
Will read again when i fly back home.
In short: I do believe that this story will keep most readers captive towards finding out
what happened to her, the choices she made and all the hidden gems that are sown
within her life of uncovering her own past, from which she once fled yet now more in search of;
the truth within it all.
Thank you once again for honouring me in being able to read this
Thank you Gert for taking time to read my manuscript....
I thought this time I will allow people to read my book before I approach publishers to make sure I send of a nice detailed and crafted manuscript without a few errors...
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