So continuing on, ink splAters…
My retreat-turned-”unretreat”, though mildly disappointing because it took place in my school, was nonetheless extremely successful in other ways. I got to work with author Susie Maloney, who is one of only a handful of novelists in my fair province whose career is writing. If you don’t know who she is…well, I’m not 100 per cent surprised. You may, however, have heard of a couple of her novels if you are a horror reader.
Maloney is often compared to Stephen King (who apparently read A Dry Spell and said it was good), and sometimes suffers from the comparison. However, A Dry Spell especially is touted as a thrilling read.
So I met with her, asked her some questions about publishing, got many suggestions for improvements on my work and showed her my efforts to make those changes. What she was most helpful in doing for me was to A) give me a female perspective on my main character and a mother’s perspective on the character of C’s mum; and, B) ask a huge number of questions to test the strength of my plot.
By the end of the unretreat I had decided to make great sweeping changes in the plot of my book. Characters removed, setting changed, catalyst shifted, character intentions changed…
The real issue was not that I had decided to make these changes. Instead, the issue was that I had a final draft of my IPP (my Independent Professional Project, a.k.a. the reason I’m writing this book in the first place) due a week later. That was a long week.