Friday, June 18, 2010

Reading Your Writing

Yesterday I had my Valley Writers meeting, and it was the first time I read some of my work for them. I was really nervous and a bit scared to read my work, especially part of the prologue of The Phoenix Prophetess. The novel is literally my baby, took all nine months to produce and everything. Plus, it was my first novel and what started my entire desire to write original material beyond general roleplays mingled with a dash of fanfiction.

Of course, I somehow had to go first, which was probably good in the end. I didn't have enough time to get really nervous, although I think I read my work a little too fast. I received excellent feedback, though, and it gave me a lot to think about. The first five pages is so important with a novel. It is what hooks the reader and draws them into the rest of the story. If the first five pages bomb, then there might not be any hope saving the rest.

With the feedback, I plan to expand the pregnancy/labor scene and do a bit more with the Fate goddesses. I plan to go a bit more back and forth with the mortals and goddesses and just hope it doesn't end up confusing. *laughs* I think it'll work out fine. Of course, I don't know when I'll get around to fixing the first part, since I have to finish my edits for Once Upon a December Nightmare this weekend.

I'd like to read the rest of the prologue for my Valley Writer friends sometime soon, so I can receive more feedback and fix the prologue to the best it can be.

Has anyone else read your work in front of an audience?

Personally, I find it a bit terrifying. Although I'll admit it is easier to read your own work than to read someone else's. In school, I hated to be called upon to read. Unless I had the piece memorized, I would stumble over the words. My mouth didn't seem to work fast enough with my brain. It was horrible. Yet, I did theatre, and it wasn't bad saying the lines, but once again, I had them memorized. It's good to be able to read your work and necessary if you want to get anywhere as a writer.

On a side note, I wanted to mention the kittens (well, kitten and cat). Cinderella and Romeo are getting along a little bit. They love playing with each other, but sometimes they both get a bit too rough. It's a good thing that Cinderella is a small cat. Romeo is now about a fourth to a third her size, so they manage well. It's really funny now that Romeo goes all over the house when he is out of his cage. He loves eating Relli's food, if she has any left out. Plus, he's using her litterbox every chance he gets. She hates when he uses it. You can tell from when she sniffs his pee or poop, and then she squats over the box to use it herself like a person squating over a toilet at a rest area or a nasty gas station restroom. You know the ones where you have to get a key and the last time it looks they cleaned it was ten years ago. She's such a funny cat. I'll try to get more pictures of Romeo soon.

I'm going to try to work on a new short story today, if I get a chance. I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Happy Father's Day to all dads out there, too!


Kelly Davio said...

Hi, visiting you from She Writes!

Reading work in front of an audience is like a roller coaster: scary the first time, a little less scary the next time, and eventually it actually becomes fun (I promise!).

Aubrie said...

Wow, you are so brave to read your work in front of a bunch of writers! Ahhh! I've never done it myself, but I bet you do learn a lot from it.

Glad the kittens are well :)

Expanding the labor scene would heighten the tension. Good idea!

Cherie Reich said...

Thanks for visiting, Kelly! And, I hope you're right. I do think it'll be easier to read next time, though.

Aubrie, you really should read some of your work sometime in a writer's group. It's great to get the feedback from it. It can only make the writing better, I think.

Becky Mushko said...

You read fine at Valley Writers! We enjoyed it (or we wouldn't have given you so much feedback). I look forward to hearing what you'll do with your characters in the rewrite.

Cherie Reich said...

Thank you, Becky. I definitely would like to read more of the story for everyone, especially the rest of the prologue.

Anonymous said...

Sounds nerve racking to me, lol. I've never been much on speaking. My only experience was in high school, but I always felt the heat rising to my face.

Angie said...

Love the cat stories. I agree that it is pretty scary to read your stuff aloud to a group who is going to rip it apart, so to speak. I did it at the conference I went to in April, but it turned out to be a good experience, like yours. I got great feedback. Good luck with your short story.

Lisa Rusczyk said...

I could never read my stuff in front of people. I tried to read part of one of my books to Mikie when we were on a road trip once, and after about a minute I stopped. It was like getting nekked in public.

Your kitty pics are so cute!

Anonymous said...

I love it. Not nervous in the least. I prepared well and it was well received well and I will definitely do it again. it was so exhilarating but I am an extrovert.