May I call you Billy?
Honestly, so many names have been flying about the place this afternoon in relation to you, it’s hard to keep track.
I’ll stick with Billy. I know from Alyssa’s date with you that you prefer when you’re the focus of a conversation.
Oh, Billy. Billy, Billy, Billy.
There’s so much I want to say, so much I need your help with.
It’s time for another cuppa and catchup! This time I invited the lovely Liz de Jager along to talk about writing YA, bullet journals and pearls of wisdom for her younger writing self…
Rachel Connor: Welcome to my humble blog, Liz! Tell us a bit about yourself and what creative stuff you’re working on at the moment.
Liz De Jager: Hi! I’m so pleased to be here – thanks for the invite. So, I’m the author of a completed trilogy for YA (and other discerning readers regardless of age) called The Blackhart Trilogy.
The series follows Kit Blackhart who gets thrown in the deep end when in the first book she saves a Fae prince from becoming a snack for some bad guys and then: shenanigans!
What I’m up to at the moment: I’m editing a new book. It’s full on fantasy and I have no idea if its good. I hope it is! I’ve also become a bit of a crafter and mixed media enthusiast, making stuff and selling it on.
Where to go for writing feedback
So you’ve done what Auntie Rach has told you and you’re now pretty certain that it’s time to get some feedback. Let’s have a look at the different options available:
Join a writing group – there are so many benefits to doing this, chief among them being that you’ll have someone to share your writing journey with, good and bad.
Today is my birthday, and it won’t be my happiest one.
Last night I was awake until 1am, crying into the warm shoulder of my best friend and the love of my life. I’d taken that same old bait my intrusive thoughts like to lay for me, and descended down that black hole of despair so many of us are familiar with.
It starts off like a breadcrumb trail, those old tapes on repeat:
It’s not always easy to know where to go for feedback. Luckily in the age of the internet, you can barely move for places, groups and communities who would love to read your work.
The tricky part is figuring out what kind of feedback works best for you.
Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of writers talk about voice.
“Oh, I love this book, it’s so voice-y!”
“The agent rejected my manuscript because they couldn’t connect to the character’s voice”.
“Every character had the same voice. I couldn’t tell them apart.”
So how exactly do you define a story or character’s voice? What do people mean when they say a writer lacks voice or writes in a really voice-y way?
Winning used to mean everything to me.
I was brought up in a household where if I wasn’t the best in my class, I wasn’t anything. I went to school with kids who would literally tear one another’s faces off over a football score.
I live in a country that was so big on ‘winning’ that it enslaved half the world.
The creative industry I work in is reminiscent of Game of Thrones for all the backstabbing, politics, sycophants and uneasy alliances it’s filled with. From all of that I take this very important lesson:
Winning is overrated, and isn’t half as important or beneficial as you think.