Mir Flower

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Hi I'm Mir. I'm 55 and live in Leicestershire in England. I have three grown up children and my day job is in aerospace engineering. I used to be a prolific writer and I did enjoy some minor successes, but I took a very long break. I started writing again a couple of years ago, and I've now finished another full length fantasy manuscript. I thought it was about done, but after going through the JW video courses I realised how much improvement it needs so I'm in hardcore edit mode.

I've had a lot of very peculiar experiences in my life so I'm also writing my memoir  and sharing it as a blog at www.mir-flower.com.

I'm a friendly, sociable person but I work long hours at my salary-paying job and I don't get a lot of spare time, so please forgive me if I miss things or take a long time to get back to you!

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Mir Flower Discussions
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I'd be really grateful for some feedback on the attached first chapter (now) of my fantasy novel "Ma…
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  •  · Hi Mir. Very interesting and vivid. I can see the work you have put in and you must pursue this. My …
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Hello :)I've been working on a fantasy novel for a while. The manuscript is more or less finished at…
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  •  · There's very little I can add in terms of criticism to what's already been said - I thoroughly enjoy…
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Hello everyone! I'm a very happy, friendly soul and I'm very confident in my day-job and life in gen…
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  •  · Hi Mir, Thanks for introducing yourself. Your experience is similar to mine - although I have never …

Welcome Anthony!

I gave up on fame and fortune many years ago, but I cling to the hope that one day I will get at least one of my novels into a publishable state. I'd like to achieve a writing standard that's either good enough for trad publishing or that I can be proud enough to self-publish and promote myself.

My confidence swings like a frantic metronome between 'ok, I'm doing well, that sounds quite good' and 'what am I doing? I am rubbish at this! I should stop wasting my time!'

Your rolling the dice comment sounds as though you have given up a lot to make this happen. I admire your dedication and best wishes for your writing journey!

Added a comment to Cover Reveal 

Congratulations, it looks amazing. I'm looking forward to reading it!

hi Richard,

Jon's already given you some very good detailed feedback, and I'm a novice writer so I wouldn't want to steer you wrong on any technicalities, so I'll provide some general comments as a reader:

I read this 'cold' without paying any attention to the genre or to the other comments. The first part was interesting, and I got a good impression of the busy street before Christmas.  I was confused as to why the cop was so concerned about the boy being on his own, because where I live, in that decade even little kids were allowed to roam around all day without any supervision. Maybe you could hint at the cop's gut feeling that something is wrong a bit earlier in the story, or maybe the boy is very young or looks particularly vulnerable.

There are occasional phrases that seem a bit out of place, though I lack the experience to tell you why, and this might just be the way my brain works! examples are 'milling throng' and 'inordinate amount of time'.

I started paying more attention when the FBI was introduced - and I realised that this is my kind of story :). I'm interested to know what happens next.

Also, hello from a fellow Engineer (and I am not far behind you on age). I'm in aerospace - been an odd few months, given how the pandemic has affected the fleets. 






I also learned today that I don't get any notification from replies to posts in this feed, so I didn't realise there were any responses :)

Thank you for the moral support, I'll hang on to my idiot hat for the next time I need it :D

As someone who is struggling with self-discipline at the moment, thank you :). It's good to hear someone being productive. I hope you and the family are all better now :).

How are you getting on with it now that a few more weeks have passed? (What are you writing by the way?)

I get stuck in a cycle that flickers between Overthinker and Perfectionism... Think, Think, Improve, Improve, Darn that's not good enough, Think, Improve, Ugh that's not any better, come on brain work for a change, Think, Improve, Improve, Arrgh, now I've been just looking at an empty page for half an hour, Think, Think...

It's the writer's equivalent to 'paralysis by analysis'

...and then I get distracted by chocolate ice-cream and some rubbishy telly...sigh.

I gave up smoking more than twenty years ago and I don't miss it, but I do miss how good it was at keeping me in one spot and focusing on a task!

hi Jon, 

Thank you very much. That's really helpful and I am glad you liked it.

I see what you mean about the sentence you pointed out. I need to run through it again line by line to clean up any ambiguity and potential mis-steps. My day job involves defining very precise written requirement, so you'd think I'd be good at that know :).

Regarding more explanation of the challenge before them, this is another aspect that keeps me awake at night (literally sometimes!). I'm torn. If I give too much away, maybe it spoils the mystery. If I give too little, the reader won't know what's at stake and how much it matters. Having paid attention to Harry's writing course, I know that Suspense trumps Mystery, so I do need to find a way to reveal the extent of the conflict and emergency (the complete annihilation of our own universe) in this opener if I can.  I'm going to try out a few different options and see what works best.



I have to admit, you almost lost me in the first paragraph, because I do remember my entire childhood and in a lot of technicolor detail. I find it hard to imagine not being able to remember it all. 

I'm not experienced enough to give a proper critique, so I'll share my 'informal' feedback. I loved reading this - lots of lovely snapshots into family life, and I'm assuming it's all true, because that's certainly how it came across. 

A few things that struck me as I read it:

It reads to me almost as though you're writing a letter to a friend, and sharing some of your childhood memories with someone who already knows you quite well.  In the early paragraphs I would have found it helpful to have a bit of context, because I wasn't sure if I should be imagining a five year old on a farm in the middle of nowhere, or a twelve year old in an urban yard.

I found myself wanting to know more details about what it was like to actually be there - the shock of the cold snow drift, the excitement of getting higher and higher on the swing. And did you get in trouble for knocking the swing over? :). 

If you were going to take this piece further, I'd be tempted to pick one particular memory - your dad rescuing the bird from the snake, for example, and concentrate on bringing that to life rather than lots of smaller pieces (perhaps one or two memories alongside it for extra colour). 

I don't think you need to say 'I remember' quite so often, because it's clear that these are memories, so you are fine jumping right in. 

Thank you once again for sharing this. It made me remember how wonderful words are... we don't know anything about each other, and we're probably thousands of miles apart with very different lives, but because you put some marks into a file back in 1993 (the year my daughter was born, as it happens), I am now smiling happily about you daydreaming under the plum tree :)



Thank you all for the feedback. If you get chance, I'd appreciate if you could have a quick look at the WIP draft v.2 attached, and see if I am going in the right direction.

I'm trying to remove the exposition and 'info dumping' (it wasn't intentional) but I am finding it difficult to separate these 'sins' from the description of what is going on and how Corver is dealing with it.  I guess the answer is that I shouldn't be describing what's going on either, but if I take too much out, it might not make sense :).

As long as I pare it back to a minimum (v2.0 is perhaps not far enough), do you think it could work as long as it's not an opening chapter? 



I made up my mind before looking at the comments, so I can give you an unbiased 'Cover 1 - Sepia'.  If I saw these side by side in a bookstore, I'd assume the sepia covered book was a more intelligent and intriguing story with greater depth and more originality, whereas the blue covered book would be more commercial and predictable (but perhaps an easier read, which might be important to me if I wanted something to read while travelling).

I can see why the blue cover might be recommended for sales reasons, though, as it is a lot more eye catching. 

Hope that helps somewhat!

hi Emily, welcome :). Looking forward to reading some of your work :). I'm in the Midlands in the UK if you ever need any photos or local info!

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