When I was studying on the UEA Creative Writing MA I was working on a novel, provisionally entitled Heartsick. I’d been writing it on and off for a couple of years before I started the course, and thinking about it since I finished my undergrad. (It grew out of a short story I wrote for one of my third year assessments.) I took this novel into workshop after workshop.
In hindsight, that was a huge mistake. Because by the time it got to writing my dissertation I had no idea how I wanted to write Heartsick any more. I’d heard too much from other people, and my own feelings for how the novel should “go” were confused and muddled and anxious. (Top tip, Masters students, shake up your submissions.)
So, I started a new novel for my dissertation. Which was the right decision, because I enjoyed it so much more and I got a bloody good mark. (*smug*)
Still, I’ve got about thirty five thousand words of Heartsick and I have every intention of finishing it eventually. If you’d like, you can read a section of it over on newwriting.net. The EDP named it as one of their highlights, and described it as “bleakly comic”, which was nice.
If you do read it, and you like it, please let me know. (I love praise.)