Early Drafts: Having Your Novel Reviewed

Last year at this time I was working with Garry Ryan (2011 CWC President) through the CWC mentorship program on my 3rd novel Burnt. Burnt is now with my literary agent, Margaret Hart, awaiting comment.

I sent Garry about 10 pages at a time, he commented, I updated and sent the next 10 pages. I learned something new with each section. If you get the chance to be part of this program, it’s certainly worth it.

Many of you know my brother, Michael Conn, is also an author. I’ve convinced him that the process I went through with Garry improved my novel and that he, Michael, should do this with me for my next novel.

I’ve finished the first draft of my fourth novel, Look the Other Way, and Michael is reviewing it chapter by chapter. I send him one chapter, he comments, I update and on it goes.

At this early stage, Michael gives me his thoughts on story line, whether he likes a character or not, whether he thinks a sentence is foreshadowing something, and if the writing is good enough.

This helps me see the novel through his eyes and understand what impression I’m giving a reader.

It takes time and effort, but if you can find someone willing to do this for you, I recommend it. My only caution is that you must find someone you trust. It’s hard to put writing out there when it’s not in its most polished state.

Thanks for reading . . .



9 thoughts on “Early Drafts: Having Your Novel Reviewed

  1. I am thrilled to have found someone with whom I do exactly this. I’m on my second draft, and I know there are problems– I just don’t know how to fix them yet. We exchange chapter by chapter, and already I am seeing solutions to making the story stronger, as well as getting some great feedback on my writing voice and comments on characters. It has to be one of the most useful things I’ve done for my writing this year.
    Plus, it’s fun to read another writer’s manuscript and give feedback in return!


  2. Hey Farley, I was trying to comment on your Where is my Bone blog and I keep getting a page that says area 404 a nonexsistent area so I am commenting here. Hope you aren’t traveling in the Bermuda triangle. BOL How do you keep the sand out of your eyes when looking for your bones My shift key just broke so I can’t use punctuation at the moment. I hope your writer mom will forgive me


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