As a member of an online critiquing workshop, I get to read many works of aspiring (and published) writers. Imagine it. You read their tales, you get to have a say in how/where you think it could use improving, they listen and respect your opinion, and then you get all of this back in return. There is no competition on this site—at least, none that I’ve come across—and each and every member appears to be there to genuinely help and support one another in their bid to become better writers.
That being said, I would like to add that I have encountered some amazing writers on there. These writers, like myself, are not necessarily published, but they are producing material which grabs my interest and makes me want to read on. These days, less and less succeeds to retain my attention, so these guys truly are doing something extraordinary, in my eyes.
In particular, I have found a handful of writers whose work I enjoy tremendously. I began reading one of them purely because she’d been kind enough to give up a part of her day, and she critiqued and gave an opinion of a short story of mine. In return, I checked out the opening chapter of one of her novels. She had me hooked from the get-go.
Does she write in a minimalistic, straightforward fashion? Nope, not at all. Does her style make her writing too cryptic to follow or disturb your reading flow? Hell, no. It only serves to make her writing unique. From chapter one, I read chapter two, and then chapter three, and then … well, you get the picture—until she was kind enough to send me the remainder of her novel by email. I read, edited, gave an opinion on the entire piece.
Of course, she had me hooked not only on that one novel, but on the possibility that she had other good stuff which could entertain me. I have recently proofread and offered editing suggestion on the first draft of her newest novel. Once again, she did not fail me. I loved it. Her characters are adorable. You just want—no, need—everything to work out okay for them. After sending it back to her, I realised I’d nothing else of hers to read. Being her, she accommodated me. I now have another of her novels to amuse me on cold evenings beneath the duvet. Fortunately for me, she has others—all of them paranormal romances—which I can work my way through when I’m done with this one.
What will I do when I’ve read everything she’s written? I’ll do what I do when I’ve worked through the entire collection of any of my favourite (published) authors: I’ll sulk like a baby with colic.
With permission, I intend to return to this article and name all of those unpublished writers who I believe have the full potential to go all the way. These possibly-unrecognised names deserve recognition for the awesome goods they create.
But for now:
Aimee Laine—you rock!