And the final verdict is in…

So. For the past few weeks I’ve been attempting to complete an online crime writing course. Not that I am under any illusions that I’m going to be the next Agatha Christie or anything, because I am definitely not. I hoped to stretch myself, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone while learning a little more about the genre, which happens to be one I read a lot of. The idea was to be able to write better reviews, by understanding the subtleties of the writing a little more.

Not sure that I have actually achieved that. My reviews (as anyone bored enough to stick with them until the end will know) are still long and rambling, but I do remember to make the occasional reference to setting and characterisation so something must have stuck ;).

What has been good, was being able to read the work of my fellow students, honing my skills at passing constructive criticism, all the while knowing they had equal opportunity to completely rip my amateur writing apart. I think, in reality, we were all a little too polite to be too harsh, but there was some useful feedback and it did get me thinking. I’ve developed an intriguing character (in my head at least) with a bit of a back story which could be explored further. Even if it never sees the light of day or goes any further than a brief dalliance between me and Word or Scrivener, it might be fun to just give it a go. Maybe just a little, itty, bitty one.

And so, as the title suggests, the final verdict is on from the course tutor on my last exercise and guess what? It didn’t completely suck. I got words like ‘pacey’ and ‘captivating’ (ooh-er), ‘ authentic and believable’ (I think at this point he had my work confused with someone else’s), and I had no criticism on punctuation or formatting suggesting that (unlike my reviews) I must have got it right and the hours spent agonising over full stops, commas and italics v underlining for internal dialogue must have been worth it. Who knew?

Now, don’t worry. I’m not about to start boring any of you here with my incessant ramblings. (Well, obviously I am, but if you’re reading this then it’s self-inflicted). But, if at some point in the future, by some overwhelmingly freakish turn of fate, you should see something a little longer, perhaps by someone with a name startlingly similar to my own, know that it all started from the best of intentions and a tiny little, inconsequential insomniac’s book blog. You knew me first.

The two of you who bothered to read this far. 😉

JM