At the beginning – welcome

Many years ago I filled three hard-cover A-4 notebooks with more than 500 pages of a surprisingly clean, hand-written (in pencil!) novel manuscript.

I was fourteen years old, I had learned English (the language in which this novel is written) less than four years before that, and although I had been writing for a very long time, with my first recorded written-on-paper poem dating back to age five, this was probably the first time I had written a coherent and original novel-length manuscript which was remotely GOOD. Perhaps not in the level of writing itself – I was, after all, fourteen and inexperienced and it shows – but what I lacked in experience I certainly made up in enthusiasm and the fact remains that many many years after the original was set down I am finding that the bones of this story are very much salvageable… if the manner in which the story was told could be dealt with.

This is not so much an edit, as a rewrite – I have the story, I have the characters, but now I also have a couple of decades of experience and ten other published books behind me. So here is what I am going to do in this blog. I am going to take this novel by the hand and present it to the world – first as is, warts and all, unashamedly juvenilia, and then I will work it through (with the necessary surgery open to witnesses) to a standard which is approaching publishability today. I am hoping that young readers and writers, teens just starting out, people who might have been me once, will come here to discuss things, to hopefully learn something about the craft of writing, and to provide me with feedback about the way this particular project is going.

I look forward to seeing you all around the dissection table soon.


My name is Alma, and I am a writer. More about me on my main website, at – or come join the conversation at my more general blog, at – I look forward to meeting you.


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