Pocket Novels and Light Bulb Moments!

Rena George Editing your work, Pocket Novels 8 Comments

While driving to York the other day to meet a friend for lunch in our favourite restaurant, I had a light bulb moment. But I’m not sure I’m happy about it.

You see, what came to me in this blinding flash was the realisation that the My Weekly Pocket Novel I have just finished is actually TWO pocket novels.

I was aiming for a psychological thriller for one of MW’s new Easy Read genres. That bit seemed OK. All the ingredients were there – murder, suspicion, arson, forbidden love and jealousy.

It was only when I’d completed the second draft that I realised all this was running alongside an engaging (well I thought so!) love story with its own twists and turns.

I’d been so determined to write my first exciting thriller that I over-stirred the pot and threw everything in there. Now I might be wrong and this is a work of page-turning brilliance, but …

If I send it off to Maggie Seed like this I know it will come winging back with the comment ‘too much plot.’ It would be wreathed in other complimentary and encouraging comments, because Maggie is lovely like that, but it would still be a no sale.

I’m a writer afflicted by self-doubt. Even when I feel elated after a final draft, and confident that I’ve produced a competent, pleasing piece of work, as soon as I press that send button all the old insecurities creep back.

I think of all the words I could have changed, phrases that could have been turned around, plot threads I could have developed better. It’s not a great feeling. I take comfort from the belief that most writers have been there.

But back to this twin plot business. The complications might work better in a longer novel, but not within the obligatory 50K words of the pockets. So it’s with heavy heart that I’m thinking I have to go back to the beginning.

I know there’s a lot of work ahead of me, but maybe…just maybe…I might actually end up with TWO pocket novels.

Everything’s crossed.

Happy writing everybody.

Rena xx




Comments 8

  1. Hi Rena – would it perhaps be worth leaving it for a bit, starting another and then going back to your first with a fresh eye. I feel that writing novels is a bit like whipping cream, if you work at them too much they might just get too thick and you miss the point at which they are just right. It’s only a thought but I do know that awful feeling once you’ve finished of thinking perhaps you should have done it differently. Going away and coming back to it could help to see things more clearly.

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      Thanks, Cara. You’re right about the dangers of working too much at a story. I think that’s exactly what I’ve done here. My head is so full of this plot at the moment that I know I’m not seeing it clearly, and to be honest I haven’t the heart to wade into it all again right now. Maybe I will set it aside and go on to something else. I’ve nothing to lose. xx

  2. Cara’s offered some good advice.

    And I’m going to offer hugs, because the moment you realise something you’d thought finished needs more work is always very daunting.

    Lots of luck with the new project – and with this one (these two) when you’re ready to look at it again.


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      I suspect the two novels might be a fair way off yet, Teresa, but, yes, how exciting if I can pull that one out of the hat. A lot of thinking still required here me thinks. xx

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