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Fretting Over Feedback
Things I've been up to recently: writing my novel, gaining confidence therewith, reading and discovering writers whose style inspires me, and fretting over feedback.

At the time I wrote the first entry to this journal I was somewhat concerned about my choice of language. The Twilight fanfics I've posted here are the first stories I've written in English, and I was surprised how effortless it was to write them. So, for several reasons (which I'll return to at another time) I decided to switch languages from my native Finnish to my not-so-native English at the end of last year, and it's worked out. In about eight months I've written some 47,000 words of actual text.

Of course, I've managed to concoct a bit of a crisis, too.

Let me say at first that I belong to an awesome writing group of two. We love each others' stories and characters, and criticism is dished out in the best possible taste! I trust my friend completely. It's probably a rare thing to have this sort of relationship.

So why do I take the risk and show my chapters to people who don't know the story and might not like it one bit?

Because they don't know the story and the characters. All they know is what they read, and they're able to give feedback from that perspective.

They know about language, too, and I do need more comments on that as well.

And they don't usually read the kind of stories I'm writing, so they are even more detached, even though they're my good friends. Wow, it seems that I'm really trying to get distance between my story and its reviewers. I might have to consider this.

Also, I'm vain and I want to be praised.

Anyway, they're pretty busy people. And because they're not particularly involved in the process, and because I can't know if they even like what I've sent them, I've been a little, shall we say, nervous for the past weeks while I've been waiting to hear from them.

Yes, it's been weeks!

I should probably mention that one of them caught dengue fever in Asia and the other is super busy with her dissertation. But still!

I was a little more cheerful when I got a text message from Struggles With Dissertation last week. She apologised for not having had time to give me proper feedback, but said that she was even more impressed with the latest three chapters than with chapters 1-7 I'd sent her some months ago. I was happy, and began to draft chapter 12, relishing the fact that the word 'impressed' had been used.

Yesterday we had lunch, and talked about various things, and I was very careful not to bring up my story. Eventually she asked about a couple of details, and I replied, hoping she would say that she had not cringed while reading. (I've mentioned that I'm into melodrama. It's a habit which needs to be kept under check. Sometimes this works, sometimes not.) Finally, as we were heading back to the office, I asked if she'd been embarrassed at any point. Obviously this is a question which only has one answer, unless the conditions are perfect. She said no. I was somewhat (but not entirely) satisfied. She then said that she hadn't found any faults with the language, and that she'd like to show maybe a page or a paragraph to her Significant Other, a native speaker and something of a professional in these matters. I told her to go ahead, hiding my sorrow of the obvious fact that the language was clearly the only thing she was able to compliment whole-heartedly.

I shall have to tell these two readers that they are required to praise me overtly and unabashedly, because otherwise our arrangement simply will not work.

I also happen to know that Asian Reader has recovered from her dengue fever* almost two weeks ago. Hel-lo?

To conclude: I'm an obnoxious person, and from now on I will stick to my trusted Writing Group Feedback because otherwise I might just manage to become too embarrassed with the whole thing and lose my sense of direction (and my senses). And I don't want to be embarrassed and directionless! I want to be happy and sensible. Sigh!

*also known as gaol fever. Anne Frank died from it in Bergen-Belsen.

Edit. Omg, I suck so badly. I'm a terrible, pretentious, all-around sucky writer. Even this entry is stupid. I'm stuck, I'm stuck, I'm stuck! And I suck!

Edit 2. But I opened the document, and by God, I will write five sentences no matter how awful they are. (I expect my offspring to wake from his nap in about thirty minutes, hence that number.)

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Ooooohhh... :) Wonderful. This reminds me of myself. ^_^

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