Why Using Someone Else’s Brain is So Fantabulous

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This blog has seen a huge hiatus but thankfully, I’m back on the bandwagon. Hip hip hooray!

A little over a month ago I had the most amazing opportunity. Along with eleven other author attendees I was part of a workshop that was presented by Adrienne Kerr Commissioning Editor, Penguin (Canada). This post is written with her permission but has not been reviewed by her. The two day experience I had truly showed me the immense value of picking someone else’s brain, most especially after they’ve read your work.

With eleven other brains giving me in-depth critiques of my query letter, sample pages and my synopsis I had so many “Ah-ha” moments I lost count. It really helped that it was such a diverse group of writers. I found it interesting that sometimes even they disagreed on different aspects of my novel. But I learned quickly that if many people were saying the same thing it was time to sit up and pay attention. I’m still currently sorting through all the information and help that all of these writers have given me. It’s amazing that so much of what was specifically said helped in so many other aspects of my writing.

Never underestimate the value of new eyes coming to a piece of work. As a writer everything makes sense in your head. All the pieces fit together. New eyes can pick up on so many times where hands skipped over a crucial piece of information that is still in your head. Another person’s brain can also sometimes see themes or ideas that you may or may not have wanted in your novel. I was so excited and happy to have been able to go. This workshop will definitely have to go on my “I must do this every year for my writing” list. 😀
(Don’t underestimate the value of a good iPhone app too. So happy I used voice record and can now play back exactly what everyone said about what I had written).

In addition to all of the above it was truly wonderful to be able to work with Ms. Kerr and have not only so many of my questions answered but have her look at my writing as well.

Needless to say the workshop has really put a burr back under my butt and my writing is really starting to become part of my life again. I’m realizing how much I’ve missed it, and I’m so glad to be back!


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