Making it work

Recently, I’ve joined up with the ‘Get Writing’ web­site hos­ted by the BBC. It’s a nifty little site and provides a num­ber of oppor­tun­it­ies for improve­ment: feed­back, chiefly, as well as writ­ten resources on struc­ture, char­ac­ter­iz­a­tion, and oth­er ele­ments of fic­tion.

One of these resources (on style) was pro­duced by David Mitchell. In it, he con­cluded that the take home mes­sage for any writer is this: do any­thing that makes your prose work. Be dis­pas­sion­ate about the weak­nesses of a par­tic­u­lar story and then set about fix­ing them.

I gave Britta a copy of ‘Miss Tanner’s Old School’ to read — the new ver­sion, this is — and she poin­ted out a few ways in which it should be improved. Now, it is always a good sign when feed­back cor­res­ponds with an ink­ling you already have about the piece. In this case, Britta reit­er­ated what was on my mind. The end of the story didn’t quite fit. So, in keep­ing with David Mitchell’s advice, I’ll being return­ing to the story on the mor­row with one aim: to do any­thing neces­sary to make it work.

Author: Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

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