Technically, I wasn’t supposed to start writing until November 1st – I tried to wait but honestly, if there’s a story (especially for a first time writer) that needs to be written, I don’t think putting a lid on it is a smart thing to do.
So, I started writing The Hijacked Holiday. To be fair, I won’t count the words written before November 1st, as part of my 50,000 words.
Besides being ready to get my first novel started, I also wanted to give working with AG a “test drive”, not at all knowing how this would work and what to expect. We had exchanged a few other emails, mostly me telling him additional background on the characters, so he could be more familiar with them. I’m not writing this story sequentially, so he needed to know as much about Josh and Ava as possible.
Once written, I sent him my first scene. The scene where Josh shows up to hijack Ava’ bike trip, and she sees him for the first time in six months.
First line of his feedback had me cracking up! “SEALs are not Special Forces. (haha I’m going to be a stickler about this because if you’re going to insist on writing about SEALs I’m going to make sure your character doesn’t get confused for a real man)”
Much like there is competition and healthy banter between members of the different Services, there is even more “contention” between Special Forces Units and Navy SEALs.
I get it, and it definitely made me laugh, and so did this comment: “SOF dudes don’t put milk in their coffee. I mean, SEALs might, because they’re SEALs, but real men don’t need to fluff it up.”
Solid input, Josh will be drinking his coffee black.
Jokes aside, his feedback was excellent and spot on. He clearly grasped what was happening in the scene, between the characters and what they were experiencing. He even broke down some of the thoughts and emotions Josh was probably experiencing that I didn’t write in the scene.
He also made me realize the areas I need to amplify, clarify and add.
His feedback was more than I expected. I asked for his help for a different scene, and once more, the effort he put into his reply was impressive.
AG is not one though for small talk or actually giving me any additional personal details about himself…and that’s okay. He is going through what I can only guess is a pretty tough course right now, and the fact he’s taking the time to help me out is already more than I can ask for. Just because I always get off point and put in my personal two cents on most things – doesn’t mean he has to.