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Calling all readers! Please can I have your feedback?

35 replies

Racka · 10/08/2007 11:12

I have been writing a (hopefully) amusing blog from the perspective of my baby who is bent on my total destruction. It's just a bit of fun but family and friends urge me to try and get it published. It's impossible for me to take their praise seriously given who they are, but I thought some relative strangers such as yourselves would be able to review it objectively and honestly. I really want some impartial advice. If you have any spare time (a rare thing, I know) I'd be eternally grateful for your thoughts. If you do choose to read it, please can you read it in chronological order, starting with 'Welcome to My World', the link's below. This is a big ask, I know so no problem if it's ignored!

Thank you.

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Racka · 10/08/2007 11:32

Here's the link:

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Beksmum · 10/08/2007 23:27


Just wanted to say have had a chance to read about 90% of what you've written and it was really good and made me smile and laugh to myself several times.

It really reminds me of the baby in family guy, which I also love.

I'm with your family and friends, keep writing and try to get it published I'm sure there are many a mum who will enjoy this read.

Make sure you send me a signed copy

Good luck Beks

UnquietDad · 10/08/2007 23:29

Its very funny. I like the "advances in Fisher-Price technology".
You may enjoy Rohan Candappa's "Diary of a 1-year-old" - similar idea.

hotchocscot · 10/08/2007 23:59

bloody hilarious. loved it. made me laugh out loud several times, sometimes in recognition sometimes just cos really funny. Well written, sharp, great.

roisin · 11/08/2007 00:07

I don't understand why there are 4 threads on this, but yes it is a very entertaining and amusing read.

I read 3 entries, and then found myself going back to read a few more - which at 11.45 pm on a Friday night, is quite saying something.

It's a tough old world to get published though - I wish you the best of luck.

But yes it is good, very good.

Racka · 12/08/2007 11:09

Apologies for the multiple threads on this, I just wanted as much feedback as possible. Thank you so much for taking the time to read it, your opinions mean a lot to me and I'm definitely going to try and make something of it, there's no harm in trying whether it succeeds or not, I guess. If (in my wildest dreams) I get published, I will definitely work out a way to get copies to you all! I better move fast though, today is my last day of maternity leave and I feel physically sick about it. x

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LoveAngel · 14/08/2007 22:13

I wasn't sure on first read (the cynical journoalist / jealous and frustrated writer in me always hates things on first read)but you hooked me in fairly quickly and I have to say - I loved it. Very, very funny and definitely publishable. Good luck!

squeakybub · 15/08/2007 15:34

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

Racka · 15/08/2007 18:59

Thanks for your feedback LoveAngel and Squeakybub, I take your point. I'm happy with the premise but I think my writing can get a bit convoluted and I think I could be clearer. I'll bear this in mind, it's definitely a natural style though, so I'll have to consciously reign it in. I was always told I was too verbose at school, I think you've hit the nail on the head!

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Racka · 15/08/2007 19:01

I mean 'rein'! Megalomania setting in.

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Desiderata · 15/08/2007 19:13

Hmmm, I'm sorry, Racka. It's OK, but it's not good enough to be published, imo.

I think one of the basic problems is who would buy it? Men wouldn't, and most women are too wrapped up in their own children to give it much time.

It isn't 'punchy' enough with the wit, nor succinct enough with the prose. It's also very middle-class, which is done to death in literature.

I'm sorry. I know it hurts, but you asked for an objective and honest opinion.

Racka · 15/08/2007 21:49

Thanks for taking the time to read it, and thanks for your opinion,I appreciate and value it. There's definitely a market for these kinds of books, but you're right, it's definitely not succinct and I'm worried about the standard, so you could very well be right, that it's simply not good enough. Ho hum. It's on the chin. Appreciate the honesty.

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Racka · 16/08/2007 09:22
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Desiderata · 16/08/2007 11:50

Don't be sad. I am the un-proud author of three unpublished novels, and your writing style is very similar to mine!

You musn't give up. Keep honing your skills, cut your sentences vigorously, and find an unusual 'angle.'

The great thing about writing is that you're never too old or unhealthy to keep going. I still harbour a notion that I'll be a wealthy authoress one day .... and so should you!

RoxyNotFoxy · 16/08/2007 14:40

I take a mid-way postion between Desiderata and the others. What she said about middle-class literature being "done to death" is not a valid criticism. Middle-class literature floods the market because most writers and most readers are middle-class. There will always be a demand for it, never fear.

But what she said about the defects in the writing is fair comment. As it stands, it isn't good enough - which is not the same thing as saying it couldn't be. In fact, there is enough in there to hold out the promise of something good. It's a matter of distillation. Good writing really comes down to good editing, which in your case means ruthless editing - a lot of cutting out, shortening, compressing. It also means attention to detail - e.g. "luxuriantly" doesn't mean the same thing as "luxuriously". Some basic dictionary graft is needed; also, attention to punctuation, and structuring of sentences. I don't think there are any short-cuts for you. If you want to be a writer, you just have to put in the work.

But I do think there is something there, talent-wise, and your work won't be wasted.

bookwormtailmum · 16/08/2007 14:52

I've read the first couple of entries and it's amusing but you do need to edit the sentences. Less can be more in writing. I'm verbose and wordy myself so please don't be offended - the hardest thing for me in writing is stopping. I think you have to decide if your child is intentionally being demonic to destroy your life or are just exploring the world from their point of view which just happens to have catastrophic consequences for you (but the child somehow also having adult knowledge or being omnipotent).

The 'middle-class mummy-lit' is a very crowded market though so be prepared for some rejections . Havou tied entering it in for a competiton?

bookwormtailmum · 16/08/2007 14:53

'Have you tried'.... etc .

HonoriaGlossop · 16/08/2007 15:09

I think you have a natural talent and obviously a drive to write. Good for you, keep going, and keep creating. My advice is to leave things and then go back to them some good while later. I've always found you look at things with a totally different view if you do that and you either think "oh god that's awful" and bin it, or you think "that IS good, it just needs.......etc etc".

I think maybe setting yourself a target, like writing what you want - then do a wordcount, and whatever the number - halve it.

Just as an exercise in self editing and in making your point in the clearest way possible.

I think there is lots to build on in your writing and that you should keep doing it.

Racka · 16/08/2007 20:22

Thanks for all the advice, I think there's a common theme here! I've never been very good at practising restraint but I've also never had so many people highlight the same flaw at once, so I'm going to be a lot more economical with my words from now on. You've all really clarified things for me. I really want to improve so will try to be constantly editing in the next blog post.

Thanks for the encouragement and practical advice, I won't stop, I'll just join the back of the queue marked 'wannabe writers'.

I haven't entered it into any comps Bookwormtailmum, do you know of any?

RoxyNotFoxy - Oops! Where did I make that particular gaffe? That's embarrassing.

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Stuffy · 16/08/2007 20:37

Hi Racka

There are a number of blogs that have become books - bloogs is the term, I think.

So I started thinking about three blogs I read semiregularly and enjoy very much.

There's Wife in the North. Her writing is wonderful and lyrical and better than it has any right to be. I think she wrote for a living before. She has a book deal

There's Drunk Mummy, which is wry and perceptive and the writing is fantastic. She should have a book deal but hasn't.

There's Petite Anglaise too, which is a study in narcissism and is she has a book deal too.

Read those and see the difference. Your blog is a charming record of your baby. The novelty angle is that it is from the baby's eye view, which is kind of nice but also kind of kitsch. But the writing just isn't there yet. Sorry.

oregonianabroad · 16/08/2007 20:59

I agree that you need to clean it up a bit, but it rivals many of the 'yummy mummy' ilk out there, and the baby's point of view is clever -- but perhaps a little tiresome for a whole book?
Why not develop a plot alternate the point of view among other characters, having the baby's perspective be one of say 2 or 3 others to sustain the narrative?
Just my humble opinion.

Kathyis6incheshigh · 16/08/2007 21:13

Oh, I thought it was fabulous. I agree, if you were going to try and make it book-length it would need a lot more plot and structure, but have you thought of sending highlights to editors of parenting magazines in the (faint, I know, but maybe worth trying) hope of being commissioned to do something?
I totally disagree with Desi that the wit isn't punchy enough, though I do agree that the style is too convoluted - at a very basic level I would try to make the sentences a lot shorter!

Desiderata · 16/08/2007 21:16

The perception of wit is a matter of individual taste, Kathy. There's no need to 'totally disagree' with me on it, as it isn't a matter of right or wrong.

Kathyis6incheshigh · 16/08/2007 21:17

So I disagree with your opinion - what's wrong with that?
OK, I will phrase it then if it makes you feel better - my opinion is totally different from Desiderata's. Happy now?

Desiderata · 16/08/2007 21:22

Over the moon.

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