Well the dust has settled reader and the first draft has been pulled out of the “proving” pile and I’ve began reading.

All I can say reader is that I am so glad I let it sit a while. As “On the River Bank” (working title) is my first completed manuscript, I wasn’t really sure about letting it sit for a bit. All I knew was that until 5.30am this morning I wasn’t ready to look at it.

I was too afraid that if I read through it, it might be dreadful and then I’d have to throw away all those words, all those hours, all that thinking!

But now, having read the first 5 chapters, I am so happy to say I’m liking it. Of course, as you would rightly assume reader, I am spotting inconsistencies and glaring holes, spelling mistakes and dismal grammar, but I am resisting the urge to start fixing, and am just going to read it first. If, and I emphasis “IF” I can’t keep the red pen away, I shall just jot notes and come back.

Now my reading has pointed out something quite alarming reader, and it’s all about Maddison Barker Trent, my lovey heroin. Who is she? What are the things we will notice about her? As I read I start to wonder, did I describe her hair, what she looks like? I can’t remember! So this leads me into the sticky depths of “Character Development”. I’ve done short courses, long courses, read reams of writing tips and books on writing, but I haven’t actually got a mental picture of my girl!

To start, I have an age, then a nationality and even her social class, but now I need to get a clear picture of who she is. So I’ve scrolled through pictures and movie star articles looking for the right fit for my mental picture of Maddy.

I think Emma Watson fits the bill.

Then we move on to motivation, what motivates a girl of 18 to leave all that she knows and travel thousands of miles across dangerous seas to set up a new life. Admittedly reader, she begins the planning with her family, but as the story unfolds she is left alone. Her new neighbours and the community expect that she shall return to England, that she should. But she doesn’t, why doesn’t she?

She leaves everything familiar, the soft English landscape,

to battle the dry hard environment of New South Wales.

Maddy is feisty and impulsive, brave and a little bit reckless. She fights for the underdog and disregards society’s opinion of her choices. She’s also honest and caring, but her heart rules her head, that’s why she gets herself into so much trouble.