A friend of mine from my writing group sent me a competition on the youwriteon.com web site. I load the first three chapters of my novel and it is put out for review by other budding authors. For every review of other people’s work I do they will send it to someone to review. The competition prize is that if your work gets enough good reviews it goes into a table and the publishers Bloomsbury will look at the story with a view to publishing.
Scary thoughts; firstly it is sent out into the public domain for other people to read: the general public and also terrifying that my copyright might be breached in some way. Not to mention the weight of responsibility when I have to review somebody else’s painstaking work.
The website addresses both issues and assures me that I retain copyright of my work and they date stamp it so no-one can steal my work. On the other issue they claim that is what they are supposed to be doing; opening it up for general review. They leave the onus of review firmly on my shoulders.
I came up with all kinds of excuses why I shouldn’t upload it and none of them plausible so in the end I bit the bullet and pressed the proceed button. Unfortunately having gone into great lengths to fluff out the bare bones of the story I now could not upload 3 chapters so 1½ was all I could fit into the 7000 word limit but I let it go anyway. This of course does not take the story very far apart from introducing the main characters.
This morning I have had my first review and wonder now why I bothered. EricJ has been very harsh in his comments and has missed the point completely with one scene he wants cut altogether. Obviously from the short excerpt he has read he does not realise how the clues are being filtered in and how it is relevant to the plot.
To give EricJ his due he has suggested changes and links that might be of use to me and one day I hope I will look back and thank EricJ as my novel is printed. He also does say sorry for not being more charitable.
I am currently on a roll and determined somehow to get more work out to the public. I have sent some short stories back to the magazine that printed an earlier story as fillers. I hope to have time to develop some more short stories for other magazines but then life gets in the way and without life my experiences are limited and I cannot write.