Blame it on the Rain

Blame it on the Rain

I’ve read that in order to become a writer you have to both read a lot, and write a lot. For my ones of readers out there you may notice for the latter I’m zero for one on this measure. I realised yesterday playing Disney Aunt to my lovely nieces, (you know, the Big Bus tour, hitting the tourist-riddled highlights of this lovely town of London I call home whilst politely yielding to snap-happy foreigners taking their fiftieth photo of Buckingham Palace), that it had been three long days since my last post. And today makes four! Shameful, really. My sincere apologies to my avid fan(s). On top of this, my aim to be prolific is hamstrung by long summer holidays, endemic of the English independent school system. (Six weeks?? Pah! Try eight!) But I digress.

Right, back to the book. I’ve finally summoned the courage to send a draft to my first reader. Ok, so it’s my husband and one could hardly expect him to be objective but after two years of me being the only person to read it, the story begs a fresh pair of eyes. After awhile as the writer you can’t see the wood for the trees. Anyway, I see it as a positive first step. He likes to read it on the iPad, in front of me. I won’t lie I find it all a bit unsettling. I’m well aware how this poses a teeny-tiny crimp in my literary aspirations, that as a writer eventually I need to discard whatever self-conscious hang-ups I may harbour and let others read my work, take whatever criticism I have coming head-on. Hence the blog, right?

‘There’s a lot of rain, you know? The whole first few pages, you kinda seem to mention the rain a lot.’  He makes this suggestion so sweetly I almost feel sorry for him navigating the most considerate path around my ego. I go back and re-read it and concede, I do indeed mention the rain a lot because well, it’s raining in the opening scene. Emboldened by my concession, he continues, and this time not quite so sweetly.

‘Just don’t get all metaphorical, pretentious and flowery on me… just tell the story.’ Right… ok… thanks for the tip, babe. Anybody got a pen? Note to self: ‘DO NOT BE FLOWERY AND PRETENTIOUS.’ In all fairness, he’s right. I’m not writing for prizes, I just want to tell a good story. A story I hope people will want to read in whatever format possible. First, I have to go back and make the first few pages a little less wet.

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