Just before Christmas, Cornerstones Literary Consultants ran a Twitter competition to win one of several half-hour consultations with Helen Corner-Bryant. I was a lucky winner and this morning Helen phoned me for a brainstorming session. Helen had no prior knowledge of me or my novel but she was quick to take on board my story concept and where I am in my writing journey.
The good news was that characters (like mine) aged around 50 are popular at the moment.
The not so good news was:
- It sounded to Helen like there was passivity on the side of my main characters so I might like to gee them up a bit and make them more active.
- My working title isn’t brilliant – it’s likely to get lost in a morass of other books . This is a small problem that can be sorted out later.
- The structure of the novel might need attention to make sure that it fits the standard three act structure that publishers like. We talked about rising tension peaks and the low point in the novel, where the main character is worse off than she was at the beginning of the book. On the plus side structure-wise – I do have an obvious inciting incident.
Moving forward, my plan is to re-write the book’s synopsis against the three act structure so that I can see what fits and if anything is missing.
The thirty-minute consultation went by in a flash. There was no sales pitch about Cornerstones’ services but, having spoken to Helen, I’d have confidence using them should I ever decide to go down that route. A half hour well spent!