These last few weeks have provided a valuable lesson in writing. I've started entering competitions where I can receive feedback. Plus, I've found a writing workshop which is run by an actual writer. So lots of feedback from different places. And I've found that the things they say about one piece of writing, can actually be applied across the board.
I can't believe I've never noticed it before.
Lesson One. Grammar and punctuation (I touched on this during a mad rant a few posts ago). Basically, take care. Don't give anyone a reason to throw my story in the bin.
Lesson Two. Show don't tell. I've spent years thinking I had this one nailed. Oh, how wrong I was. I'm good at showing but telling sneaks in there, and what does it do? Why, it makes you not believe in my characters, makes you not care what happens to them. Pesky telling! It's funny, but I've been working through another re-write (not the one that garnered the show don't tell comment), and this story needed to be longer, it needed something else I just didn't know what it needed, until I went through it with a magnifying glass, and everything that I had told I showed (oh, how I wanted to write shew there, I know it's not a word but it should be). Anyway, do you want to know what wonderful things happened to my story? It grew a thousand words. And it works better too.
Lesson Three. Adverbs. I love them. I don't need them. I must kill them.
It's like I can see my story sharpening before my eyes...