The deadliest, jelliest site ever. Brought to you by Niamh Shaw

Starving writer

Finally it is crunch time: time to find an agent to represent ‘Smart/Casual’.

 

Recently, my muse went on a drugs and alcohol fuelled bender. Eh, it’s been threatening for a while, the addled old lush. When I tracked her down, I reluctantly admitted her to rehab. Since then she has been out on day release once.

 

While my poor muse dried out, I revised and edited Smart/Casual. I discovered there is little I hate more than editing my own work. It makes my head tingle – and not in a good way.

 

The positive aspect to the editorial process is that it gave me confidence in my writing. I may not be able to fashion a finely honed point but my sentences often make sense, my grammar is fundamentally sound, and you would be hard pressed not to admit that my spelling is phenomenal.

 

At the same time, the editorial process highlighted how little I know about plot, structure, narrative, character development and characterisation, tension, point of view, pace . . . the list goes on. In short: being able to write is just the tip of the iceberg – or the spore of the mushroom (dodging cliché being another necessary skill).

 

A few weeks ago I joined an online writers’ group, which has been a marvellous source of technical advice, encouragement and discouragement in equal measure. It is interesting to see how my sense of humour polarises people: for every member that loves this line, someone else hates it.

 

The community members helped me put together the submission proposal for Smart/Casual; it is good. It is ready.

 

I am terrified

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