Welcome criticism

Well, at last I’ve received a report from the literary consultant, accompanied by apologies for the long delay, and it was worth waiting for. Rather as I anticipated, the experts think my comic novel National Cake Day in Ruritania is aimed at too limited a market for mainstream publishers to feel safe with it, so the advice is to go for electronic publication and label the genre ‘Literary Nonsense’. I like the phrase! I’ve therefore asked for someone to provide the sort of advice that might enable a technophobic old coot to publish via Amazon Kindle; the procedure is probably straightforward… when you know how. The consultant also gave me some good, welcome advice on improvements to the manuscript – but nothing fundamental, which was a relief. It was gratifying to be told that the novel is enjoyable to read, the narrative flows from page to page, and the quality of writing is high.

I’m going to sit on the advice and mull it over for a while, then act on it (when I’ve discovered how to do the Amazon Kindle thing). Once the novel is in the public domain I’ll tell all my friends and various contacts how to access and download it, and hope those who decide to read it will agree about it being enjoyable!

Meanwhile, I’m working on a more serious (and potentially mainstream) novel, one of the projects I had to abandon when my life was consumed with caring duties, and devoting a lot of time to storytelling. I joined the Buxton group for a storytelling session in New Mills last Thursday evening (April 3rd), then went to the Matlock Storytelling Cafe on Friday (4th), contributed to the Buxton storytelling this afternoon (6th), and plan to take part as usual in the next Glossop meeting next Friday (11th). I’ve also booked myself in for some more storytelling workshops in the hope of improving my skills.

The relationship between storytelling and fiction writing continues to intrigue me, as I endeavour to develop both activities!


  • Mishka Zakharin 11.04.2014 - 19:18pm

    “Literary nonsense”–sounds fun! I’m looking forward to it!

    What about “abstruseary esotericism”?! (Too much, right?…)

    • Mark Henderson

      He-he… Adjective conveying roughly same meaning as abstract noun… Tautoneologism?

      I’m really enjoying Natalya, by the way – a few good chuckles!

  • Good to hear! (On the Natalya front…)

    And yikes! I had to look that one up–“tautoneologism”… This is what I found for the neologism part of it: “The invention of new words regarded as a symptom of certain psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia.” Hm, touche’, touche’… and if the adage “It isn’t necessary to be insane to be a writer, but it helps” has any truth, perhaps somewhat apropos as well! But it is, after all, we neologists who help the language to evolve…

    • Mark Henderson

      Yep, I suppose a sane writer is unlikely to succeed. But neologisms can be great fun. I’ve enjoyed one or two, anyway. I once entertained friends by describing the persistent pretentiousness of a senior academic as scholarshit, and an inability to secure a supply of cannabis resin as doprivation. I doubt whether either of those additions to the language would merit Natalya’s attention but maybe they’ll amuse you nevertheless.

  • One never knows what may catch on… Unfortunately, between spontaneous creation and mass communications, it is no doubt impossible to trace new word origins these days… Hob nob–it’s still fun!

    • Mark Henderson

      When Lewis Carroll wrote Through the Looking Glass, I wonder whether he anticipated that three of the neologisms he introduced in Jabberwocky – chortle, galumph, whiffle – would become accepted as more-or-less Standard English words. Probably not. But those origins are traceable; as you say, most contemporary ones aren’t. More’s the pity…

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