February 23, 2012 by NH
I’ve been sharing my life as a post grad student with this blog since I submitted my thesis last year.
Yesterday, the examiners’ reports landed in my inbox.
It’s fitting that I share some of the (admittedly, more flattering) comments with you here tonight.
This is my favourite:
“I thoroughly, and most delightfully, enjoyed Fifteen Metres. The writing style was delightfully lyrical and well-controlled without being restrained. The language and prose is evocative and beautifully suits not only the subject matter of trauma but also captures the wonder and beauty of the underwater world and the character’s relationship with water and nature.”
I love this comment because he/she picked up a three of my favourite phrases in the novel:
“There are many stunning turns of phrase and concise yet evocative images and metaphors, including ‘Jess saw a flash in the clouds, like a light bulb blowing a fuse’ (p. 4), ‘You failed me, and I am empty. When I fill now I fill quickly, to a much lower point. And I blame you’ (p. 58), ‘a fluorescent light bulb of a woman…’ (p. 65).”
This comment appeals to the editor in me:
“The manuscript itself was presented professionally, with no detectable typos, correct dialogue layout and overall adherence to conventional stylistic elements. Whilst this may seem like a small aspect to comment on, as a professional reader it is always a joy, and frankly somewhat rare, to see.”
I’m genuinely proud of these comments. For all I’ve learned, and seen, and for those I’ve met, and the new skills I’ve developed, it was bloody hard work.
I have new goals for the manuscript; when I’m ready, I’ll return to it and make it even better.
These kind comments from strangers will give me confidence when I need it.
And as my private life skids out from under me, I must hang on to the things I know.
Writing is a thing I know.