‘The NWS has assisted me to grow with my writing. Each time I put a manuscript forward, it is a nervous wait. However, you know the waiting period is worth it.’
Today I have something very different for you all.
Up to this point I have only ever hosted published authors on Swirl and Thread. It was never a decision I ever deliberately took, it’s just the way it happened.
Pauline Morgan joins me today as an aspiring-to-be-published Writer, a current member of the RNA NWS,* with dreams of being an author of romantic women’s fiction someday soon.
Pauline has written a piece for us all about her writing challenges to date and the lessons she is learning on her path to future publication.
*Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme
Words from an Aspiring-to-be-Published Writer
by Pauline Morgan
From the moment I could read, my love for books became a huge part of my life. I love reading for pleasure, but also researching for assignments. My love and hunger for books has grown in strength over the years.
Where did this love of writing come from? It began at the age of eleven. I entered a writing competition at school and came second. I always knew I had an overactive imagination and used it to form stories. The sad thing was I never wanted anyone to read them. I always put myself down as a non-starter. In my mind, my school friends were streets ahead of me. I preferred to be the dull one. To write was my way of escape, my way of handling the many life-experiences I had to deal with..
About five years ago, I met a girl via social media. We began to follow each other’s tweets. I soon learnt she was a budding author. She informed me of an organisation called the Romantic Novelists’ Association. They have a smaller section called the New Writers’ Scheme. To join you must apply 2 minutes after midnight on the 2nd of January and pay a fee. Only a certain number of members are allowed to join per year. It sounded intriguing as my new friend had learnt so much, via the scheme, about her own writing. The scheme allows for your manuscript to be critiqued by an author. Their knowledge and experience can be invaluable in assisting a fledgling author obtain an agent, or even to be published!
Four years later, I did take my friend`s advice and I joined the NWS. I have been a member ever since. Within those years, I have connected with writers from around the globe, joined writing groups and formed close friendships. The opportunity to share chapters of my writing and the excellent advice from Beta readers is invaluable.
I did seek the assistance of a mentor, an author belonging to the RNA, who enabled me to grasp an idea and bring it to fruition, from that very first draft. Without their knowledge, experience and most of all encouragement, I would not be here today chatting about my path to being a writer. I could see where I was going wrong in my writing by putting in too much information, enough to make three stories. Apparently, this is the sign of a novice writer!! After reading many of my mentor’s recommended books, and with the help of the RNA critique reader, I now know a thing or two more about writing.
The NWS has assisted me to grow with my writing. Each time I put a manuscript forward, it is a nervous wait. However, you know the waiting period is worth it. Once you skim read their report, then analyse it closely, you can see where an extra pair of experienced eyes is essential.
Last year`s report has to be my best ever. The RNA critique reader thought my story was very intriguing and compelling. They disliked three of the characters and advised I should reshape them. Their last comment was, “Success requires a great deal of perseverance, but with hard work, persistence and a little bit of luck it is not impossible to find a publisher”. I did rewrite the characters and an agent picked it up within 24 hours of reading it. My lesson learnt from the agent was, it had too much back-story, something I had overlooked. But it also taught me that my writing was good enough to catch the eye of a potential agent, an agent who has experience dealing with top authors around the globe.
My current writing status is, that I am now waiting for the return of this year`s manuscript from the RNA critique reader. I also have a manuscript sent out to three publishing houses. A manuscript from my second year as a member of the NWS is with a copy editor, as a publishing house has requested to read it again, following certain recommended changes.
Overall, I am very pleased with my outcome so far and hope one day to become a fully fledged author of romantic women`s commercial fiction.
Bio:My writing experience includes a self-published paranormal book, writing competitions, and belonging to various writing groups via social media. Since relocating back to Northern Ireland my native land I have become semi-retired to concentrate on my writing. I like to attend meetings with local authors or go to literary festivals whenever I can.Every opportunity I love to spend time in my garden where I do most of my plotting and planning of future stories to unfold.Facebook ~ Author Pauline MorganTwitter ~ @paulinemorgan56