Friday, April 17, 2009

The evolution of a novel - the fear

So what do I mean by 'the fear'? Well, in this case, it's the fear of people thinking the book is crap. Now that advance review copies are about to be sent out, the realisation hits home that people are going to start reading the novel. Up until this point, very few people have read it. My partner, a few trusted readers, the publisher and editor and a couple of authors that offered blurbs.

Writing is a very solitary occupation. Me and my demons. Even though the work is a piece of fiction, there is obviously some of 'me' in the story as it originated from me. I gave birth to it. And like anyone with children knows, you care about them. You want to protect them. You want them to get on in life. You want them to be accepted. Liked. Successful. If you find your child is being bullied, picked on because someone has taken a dislike to them, it hurts. It's the same with anything you write. Of course over the years I've learned to harden myself to the criticism. You have to. But that's not to say that it doesn't hurt when someone calls your work crap.

That's not to say I like false praise, and people saying they like something just because they are worried about hurting my feelings. Sticks and stones and all that. Honest constructive criticism is one of the most valuable things people can offer. If someone thinks it's crap, tell me why you think it's crap. That's all I ask. That way I can learn.

So now my child is about to leave the nest, I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that people welcome it's first tentative steps into the world.


N.Brown said...

Hi Shaun.

I'm a fellow member of the Vault Of Evil board and an aspiring writer/artist. Been having a scan around this blog and there's some very helpful information. I'll have a finished novel to submit sometime in the next couple of months, and it's sometimes a bit overwhelming knowing what to do next. Useful stuff, cheers. Best of luck with The Kult.

- Noah Brown

Shaun said...

Hi Noah.

I don't post much on VoE, but I try to pop in now and again. Good luck with the novel. I know just how hard and daunting it is!

Angela Alsaleem said...

Way to go getting your novel published! I, too, have submitted to Leucrota. Your novel caught my attention which is why I've ended up reading your blog. Lots of useful stuff here...and encouraging, I might add.

What has it been like working with Leucrota? I'm hoping to hear a favorable response, and, if I do, it would be great to know about your experience with them.

The cover art they did on your book and Low Men is amazing. And the majority of the stories they have available look like stories I'd like to read, so I know I'm in the right place.

And, with your's it going? Are you getting favorable responses back from the ARC contest they had? I wish I had gotten in on that before the end of April. I would've loved an ARC of The Kult. As it is, I'll just have to go buy it, now.

Anyway, best of luck. I hope to hear from you.