FLM BLOG Thursday 23 October
I'm professionally assessing an old friend's memoirs at the moment and I'm struck by her astute choice of scenes from her childhood and youth, and the deft way she closes an episode and switches to another. Another old friend who's a successful literary novelist once said, only half in jest, 'How do I get a character out of a room? Do we have to see him turn the doorknob?' Answer to that is: selection. Leave the doorknob out if you don't want it! Miss out the next week or month in the character's life if there's something of much greater importance that you want the reader to see. For some great advice on scene switching I recommend a recent post by Kristin Nelson here.
In a fresh phase of my long career as both publisher and published novelist, I turned to writing full-time. And I found that I missed assessing brand-new fiction. So I’ve set up Free Literary Mentor as a completely free manuscript appraisal service to début novelists and their readers. During my professional life in books I’ve assessed, edited, published and reviewed prize-winning fiction and non-fiction, I’ve tutored in literature and novel writing, and was fiction publisher for an international company for twelve years—yet I’ve never lost the excitement of seeing new work. If you’re a novelist seeking constructive critiques, look below and see how Free Literary Mentor might work for you. Readers, check out the latest extract from a new novel—you may be peeking at a forthcoming bestseller. To share an opinion, click on the extract below, or go to the Free Literary Mentor archive, select another and add your comment.