She pointed to my magazine that had arrived early-Writing Magazine Feb 2012. I like to tear open the plastic wrapping and browse over a cuppa, so that had to wait till I'd showered.
All ready to look over the glossy pages, starting from the back, I flicked through page by page making a mental note of articles I'd read first. Then it happened. A flash of recognition. Shadowmaker. Aren't I writing a YA book of the same name? I am. I opened the page up and noticed the title 'Under the microscope.' Then there was the fact file with a familiar photo. Bloody hell! That's me. I'm featured in Writing Magazine.
I did a double-take. I looked up to see if anyone had noticed. Looked again. I know it's daft but I thought, maybe I was daydreaming and the page would refocus showing someone else's article. No. It was still me. I jumped up and yelped some sort of scream of excitement whilst shoving the mag, first in my daughters face, and then to Hubby who was draining the pasta. Look it's me.
Let me explain. I subscribe to a great magazine called Writing Magazine, and every month someone's work (a 300 word extract) is critiqued, thus the title-Under the microscope. I emailed my piece to the editor in October, and, well, you know the rest. It was the first 300 words of my WIP, Shadowmaker.
The comments were fair, though some may say harsh, but that's the point of a critique and I agreed with a lot of it. When you're so engrossed in a piece of work you can forget to step back and see the scene. Fresh eyes can see new or different things, some of which may seem confusing to the reader. I suppose I have this fixed image of how everything is in my novel world and it can be hard to undo it. The critique has allowed me to pull back and see how important every word is. I guess you could say words are like notes on a score. I can hear the late, great Eric Morecombe telling me now: I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order.
This was a positive experience. I'd recommend everyone to have a go.