Hello and Thanks for the Feedback

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Ann B.

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Oct 5, 2018
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Dublin, Ireland
Hello Everyone,

I'm Ann and I'm delighted to be part of the colony. I haven't been writing recently as I have two young children and work full time but hope to get back to it soon. My youngest is a year and a half and I haven't written properly since he was born but it's all getting a bit easier as time passes.

My submission, The Blind Voice, aired last night on pop up submissions. Thanks everyone for the feedback. It was really helpful and confirmed what I already suspected - that it's not a commercial book. I sent it out to agents about a year ago and it was unanimously rejected or ignored. It's definitely not the kind of book you would bring on your holiday and read on the beach!! That said, I really enjoyed writing it and it was a good learning experience. I hope to move onto my next project soon, in the mean time the chat rooms look like a great place to hang out and get some inspiration. Am looking forward to joining in all the interesting posts. I'm so pleased I stumbled across Litopia!!
 
Hello and welcome. I'm afraid I missed most of the discussion last night due to a miserable internet connection. I'm going to try and catch up this week on You Tube - looking forward to hearing your work, it sounds intriguing.
 
Hello :) I wouldn't have bought it in a bookshop, but not for any fault in skill. I very much admired your writing, and thought you were spot on too, with your characterisation of the situation. I look forward to hopefully seeing more of your work in future.
 
Welcome Ann, I really enjoyed your writing (if perhaps not the subject matter, coming from a long line of alcoholics myself, thankfully not directly afflicted!)
 
Hi @Ann B. Welcome!

Apologies if I was a bit too blunt in my comments on Sunday, I have a tendency to type my instant reactions, although hopefully that was useful.

However, I wouldn't give up on 'The Blind Voice' forever, maybe put it on the back burner for a bit and work on something else, but I don't agree that it has no commercial potential.

I watched your submission again and I feel that what's missing is an 'edge'. It feels like a story about an 'alcoholic', rather than a story about a scumbag who's an alcoholic, or whoever else you want Sam to be.

To me he felt too close the stereotype of what an alcoholic should be rather than a character in his own right. With a bit more of an edge, something to hate or something to sympathise with, but fundamentally something that feels unique enough to latch onto, I'd be more compelled to read on.

I also felt that Sam was too self-aware of his own addiction and he approached it in such a depressing light, that it made the text feel depressing. Give him more characterisation, let Sam describe his compulsion to drink and justify why he feels he needs it. Through this lens, you can show the reader how his life is spiralling out of control, even if Sam can't see it.

Other stories about addiction, (Trainspotting & Requiem for a Dream come to mind) have a sharpness and a darkness that is both terrifying and compelling. If you give Sam a voice within that range, I think (although I wholly lack Pete's commercial knowledge of the market, but) you may have something publishable.
 
Hi @Ann B. Welcome!

Apologies if I was a bit too blunt in my comments on Sunday, I have a tendency to type my instant reactions, although hopefully that was useful.

However, I wouldn't give up on 'The Blind Voice' forever, maybe put it on the back burner for a bit and work on something else, but I don't agree that it has no commercial potential.

I watched your submission again and I feel that what's missing is an 'edge'. It feels like a story about an 'alcoholic', rather than a story about a scumbag who's an alcoholic, or whoever else you want Sam to be.

To me he felt too close the stereotype of what an alcoholic should be rather than a character in his own right. With a bit more of an edge, something to hate or something to sympathise with, but fundamentally something that feels unique enough to latch onto, I'd be more compelled to read on.

I also felt that Sam was too self-aware of his own addiction and he approached it in such a depressing light, that it made the text feel depressing. Give him more characterisation, let Sam describe his compulsion to drink and justify why he feels he needs it. Through this lens, you can show the reader how his life is spiralling out of control, even if Sam can't see it.

Other stories about addiction, (Trainspotting & Requiem for a Dream come to mind) have a sharpness and a darkness that is both terrifying and compelling. If you give Sam a voice within that range, I think (although I wholly lack Pete's commercial knowledge of the market, but) you may have something publishable.
Thanks a million @Robert M Derry, it's great to get that sort of insight. I make the character more vulnerable and sympathetic as time goes on but those first few pages are so important! That's great advice :) will definitely take another look.
 
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