Sunday, 15 December 2013

To each tale

To each tale there is a history and this is no different, at the moment I am coming to the close of a brilliant on line course, which Julia, my editor, enrolled me on-a favour I can never(!) repay to my shame.
The story of the course started some months ago when Julia bought me some editing software from  http://hereiamattheedge.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/autocrit.html , in May (?) Nina-the lady running Autocrit emailed me, asking if I would be interested in enrolling on her course http://www.edityournovel.com . At first I agreed, but over the ensuing weeks doubts arose in my mind; I had been on an on line course a year before at Writers Bureau and the tutor tore into me so much I almost quit writing.

Other doubts emerged as the time drew close; could I afford it? Should I find a way to pay for the course? Did I have a story I thought might make a novel? What length constitutes a novel? Some reports say 40,000 words-in my range-and others go as high as 90,000 words, which is well beyond my range; remember I used to write short stories (15,000 to 25,000).

Time passed as Julia and I edited my work and Nina sent an email asking if I was signing on the course, I was still undecided when a week later Julia emailed to tell me she had enrolled me-another favour I cannot repay. After thanking Julia, I checked the other people on the course and felt well out of my depth; there were selling authors and people with degrees and here I am unable to sell an e-book a month; if ever I felt small-this was the time.
 Julia and I had a chat about how I felt and in her words "Those only sink,who try not to swim." Even though I was still feeling dwarfed I set off on the course. The first five weeks I didn't do well; we discussed and analysed the course project pieces trying to find what parts went here and there and I was never close to the average correct replies and then in week six...
 Week six came and things turned around for me, we were discussing characters, use of dialogue and how to enhance stories with dialogue, my score crept up at first and by week eight I was on the average, by week ten I was ahead and stayed there until week thirteen when the course itinerary changed. In those last few weeks I rarely put a foot wrong, I put it down to Julia's teaching methods and the fact that most of my stories are dialogue driven.
At the start of the course, I would never have imagined I could compete with such people on equal terms, the course taught me that too some extent education is not everything. A point in mind, in one question a person said they couldn't decide which answer of three was A,B, or C as they were not marked. LAWD ABOVE-I have no qualifications, but to me the answer is obvious.

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