The manuscript took another step towards independence today. As a (mostly) law-abiding person whose only run-in with the law came when I knocked a policeman off his motor bike, (another story, another day) I needed someone with insider police-type information to check my facts, procedure and believability. I’m a writer, if in doubt, I just make it up. But I’m not confident enough to send it out into the world if it makes me look like an idiot.
So today I met Andrew in the new Costa in Lyme Regis (sorry boycotting locals, but it was his suggestion, not mine!) We ordered bowls of coffee and got to know each other before launching into the story. It was a pleasant hour in which we sorted out politics (small p), moral stance, shared history, and talked about the book.
It was hard sharing my story with a complete stranger for the first time. The only other people who have read the mss so far are friends, and we all know that objectivity is hard when they’re feeling proud that you finished it at all. (Proud, amazed, shocked, a tad jealous)
I liked the fact that Andrew hates watching crime series on TV as he says he always spots whodunnit and gets unreasonably annoyed when they make obvious mistakes… my baby is on the hands of a natural born critic, and although we hit it off, I hope he’ll be honest, and kind, and enjoy it.
Everything was good until I set off to drive home and felt an odd wrench. It’s much easier to be an unpublished author with the whole exciting world ahead. It’s a different matter to get your work ready for people to read, and then to put it out there for the criticism that will come…