Article by Vicky, Creative Writing learner
In my twenties, I took my first short story class. Meeting other writers and getting their feedback was invaluable. I loved every minute of it. A few years later, after I’d had my second child, I went on another creative writing course. This time, it had the bonus of some me time. On this course, we were encouraged to write a variety of different genres. It was great to try out new ways of writing. From this course, my little writing group was formed. We have been meeting for over ten years now. Following that, I started writing a story which was originally intended to be short but then it kept going and turned into a novel.
“I have always enjoyed writing ever since I was a child. Getting published was a pipe dream, not something I ever really thought possible.”
That first novel was a bit of a mess, I have to admit, as I didn’t plan it and it lost its way. The story ended up being far too complicated but I learnt a lot from writing it and most importantly I had fun. It was then I started a new novel. But towards the end, I found I was struggling a bit. When I saw the ‘progressing your novel’ course at ACL in 2020 I was delighted. This was just what I needed. Unfortunately due to lockdown, we had to go online after a few weeks. Knowing that I was debating how to end it, the tutor, Emma, suggested that I write a synopsis for each chapter. This gave me a clear sense of direction.
During the first lockdown, I was able to finish writing it. During those stressful and uncertain times, it was good to have a distraction. In August 2020, after being spurred on by a friend who read my novel, I plucked up the courage to send it to some publishers. I was amazed when a month later one of them said he was interested.
Originally the novel was written from three points of view, two sisters and their mother. The publisher pointed out that I seemed to be aiming at two different markets, he suggested I cut out the mother’s point of view. This required a lot of rewriting but it was something I was happy to do to make it better.
Rewriting my novel got me through lockdown two and the dreary winter months when Covid seemed like it would never end. Since then the novel has gone through huge changes. If anyone had told me I would be editing this novel about six hundred times I wouldn’t have believed it. It has been a long process but I am so proud of the finished product.
I would advise anyone to go on a creative writing course because it helps you to discover your style and genre as well as be inspired by other writers.
My novel, Powerless, will be available to buy on Amazon from November 12th, 2021. Follow me on Twitter (VickyBall3), Instagram and Tik Tok (vickyballauthor) for book updates.
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