The Manuscript Assessment Strikes Back.
Today was the big day!
My writing assessment from Writers Victoria has come in, and I’m really happy with the result. I was really nervous putting my work in to be assessed, because it’s a challenging thing to put your work out there specifically with the question “Is this actually any good?”
I broke down my request for feedback into three areas: The overall flow and pacing of my stories, characterisation, and suitability for the middle readers age bracket (11-13 years old). I think that giving the assessor specific areas to focus on is a great idea, since it plants seeds for them to consider as they read the manuscript. Like a filter they can run the stories through.
The results were positive regarding the stories, especially the characters and flow of the stories. There were plenty of questions raised about the setting of the stories, and this makes sense, since when I began writing the Inspector Ambrose mysteries, I only had a limited view of where I wanted the overall fantasy world to go. As I’ve mentioned in my post on mapping out my novel planning, I’ve now done lots of work around the world the Empire is set in, so I have that clarity ready to go.
There was also solid feedback around suitability for my chosen audience, which means I’m going to have to do some thinking around my characters and audience a bit more. This is encouraging, however, as I had a lot of thoughts around this.
So was the assessment worth it? Even at this early point I would say yes, absolutely. I’ve received objective feedback at an early stage in my writing career that will shape the editing and publishing of my third story, and enable to me to grow as a writer. That’s totally worth it. There’s also work I’ll need to do putting extra pieces of information about the Empire and its inhabitants into my first two stories, which will help readers view the three stories as a complete package.
I’ve got a lot of work to come now, but I’m feeling really encouraged and challenged. If you’ve ever considered doing a writing assessment, I’d encourage you to take the leap and do it.
I’m totally glad I did.