To Talk or Not to Talk about your Work In Progress?

So many writers say not to talk about the book you’re currently writing. This is to avoid awkward questions and perhaps also to avoid losing interest in your own work. The other problem is that so many people assume it only takes a few weeks or months to write a novel. That can be true but for many writing historical fiction, as I do, it’s generally not the case. Even Hilary Mantel has confessed to researching for a book for a few years plus before beginning to write. Leaving it as an enigma (except to the writer) makes it all the more mysterious, new, special and awaiting its explosion into the literary world. It is a chrysalis.

But once the writing is done, drafts complete, then what? Do we remain silent? Perhaps if we have a publisher. What if you don’t? What if you have not decided which way you’re going? Traditional or self publishing route? Maybe you can utter the odd word, line – give a hint at the plot.

Well, I feel as if I might be almost ready. I’m completing the final edits now and my novel is being viewed, chapter by chapter, at my fortnightly novel group meetings. Is it painful? Not really. Obvious mistakes/repetitions are rooted out and that doesn’t bother me. I’m glad to have the extra eyes on board. But the best part is the bits that don’t work are immediately spotted. It’s a little embarrassing at times if I’m honest but it’s also hilarious. We laugh and have fun but more importantly, we all support one another.

So, my novel group is finally giving my manuscript an airing and a voice. I might begin to talk about my writing in a little more detail. This is the year I complete my novel and this is the year I attempt to attract a publisher. I would love a traditional publishing deal but I’m also looking forward to the support of the Romantic Novelists Association, having just recently become a new member of their New Writers Scheme. All of a sudden, 2015 is beginning to look rather busy.

2 thoughts on “To Talk or Not to Talk about your Work In Progress?”

  1. I wonder if the silent writer is more of an attitude of the 20th century. Sure, there may be some bad effects from talking about a story early on as you mentioned, but I think the interaction a writer can have with his/her potential audience would be instrumental to the 21st century writer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mark – that’s an interesting point and I have noticed that many writers talk quite openly about their present manuscript – the majority are self published authors already and perhaps that is the key – drumming up as much interest as possible is a great asset prior to the launch of a self published book and so it can be extremely beneficial. The flip side is that some claim too much talk kills your idea. Who knows. I guess we do what feels right. Great comment and thank you.


Comments are closed.