Wednesday, 11 November 2009

What's a girl to do?

My course has finished and I now have my MA - I've got a letter to prove it so they can't change their minds and demand it back! It's been like learning to drive: the seminars, workshops and assignments were the driving lessons, the final project was the 'test' and now we've all been cast out unsupervised onto the motorway where the real learning takes place. And by God, it's scary out there...

Suddenly there's nobody directing you through a series of one-way streets, or guiding you the right way around a roundabout.

Or preventing you from crashing into an oil tanker...

I'm definitely in a curious position right now. My part-novel has provoked conflicting opinions from the professionals involved in the marking process: The Fairy has to go versus The Fairy has to stay/ The plot's all wrong vs The plot's right for the genre/ The pace is too fast vs The pace has to be fast in this kind of novel.

I know these are only opinions, not holy commandments etched in stone, but one way may lead to publication, the other will leave egg on my face.

I guess the answer lies in trusting your own judgement. Using everything you have learnt from the course and everything you know about the genre. God knows you've read enough similar books. But where does this self-confidence come from? Can I find some on ebay?

Now, I know certain truths about the world: bullies will get their comeuppance - it's the law of the universe; too much chocolate makes your clothes shrink; only men with deep-rooted psychological problems find me attractive, but, strangely enough, none of these concepts are useful in this situation. What's a girl to do?

On a more positive note, Mr Bubonic Plague hasn't been back to torment me!

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