Month: September 2015

Loud Literature!

Last Thursday I was very privileged to join children's authors Charlotte Raby, Sheila Rance, and Helen Baugh at the Loud Literature event as part of this year's Hurst Festival. Earlier this summer, a group of local children attended a creative writing workshop at The Mint House led by Belle Amatt, who was also our compere for the evening. Having had time to finish and edit over the summer, the children read their stories and poems aloud in front of an audience, and the authors gave feedback to each of the young writers individually.  It wasn't difficult to be enthusiastic and encouraging because the work was so diverse, imaginative, and passionate. The children's writing included farmyard action, fantastical tales of sharks and monsters, moving descriptions of loved ones, thoughtful poems, and even philosophical meditations on the nature of creativity. The authors also gave readings from their work, either published or in progress.  I read a section of my novel Seal…

Reading aloud (or which circle of editing hell is this now…?)

I've tackled what I *hope* is the last set of structural edits to Baby X, that is, changes to the mechanics of the story, rather than the writing itself. I'll only know for sure once my editor has taken a look. But before I hand in the manuscript, I've made myself do what I've been meaning to do for ages: read the whole dang thing aloud. I know it's the right thing.  If I'm going to let this book leave the nest, I want it to be in the best shape possible. Though I have to admit I wasn't super enthusiastic about the sore throat reading 276 pages out loud might give me, let alone listening back to my own voice (*cringe*). For a while it felt like my resistance was rational - I was still getting the story straight.  Why polish darlings you might ultimately have to murder? That's no longer a valid excuse, but it's hard to…