• Louise Rachel Malhi

How it all began

When I was young, I used to write stories on paper, but I must admit, they were pretty awful. One story I remember I named my character Betfast - how or why this name I have no idea. But I loved writing, so it didn't matter how good or polished these stories were back then, all that mattered was that I enjoyed putting my crazy ideas down on paper. Ironically, the one thing that didn't come natural to me was the writing part itself. Generally growing up, my reading age was always below average and I often found expressing myself difficult; however, as time went on and I persevered, things did get a little easier. I got A* in English at school!

So, when I went to university to study dietetics (nutrition), in my long breaks over the summer, I began writing again. On holiday, I came up with the idea for Forged Purity. So I thought to myself, 'let's do this.' So I began Forged Purity without any planning or direction - BIG MISTAKE. After four summers and half the novel complete, I quickly learnt the lack of planning meant I had a very poorly written first draft. Once I began working, I made a promise to myself, I would rewrite the manuscript from the beginning and do it all properly. I did exactly this, and completed it in nine months. Yay!

If only I knew then, what I know now. Though, there was planning and character profiles written before I commenced the rewrite, this manuscript was still pretty terrible. I hadn't mastered the skill of novel writing. My plot had flaws, there were meaningless characters and scenes, it didn't really have any character development or any true character arcs. It needed another major overhaul. Over the next 6 years, I repeatedly edited and edited and edited, each time learning new skills and improving the script.

Until now, days away from publication. It may have seen over a 100 edits, but I am hopefully there now. I am still learning and developing my skill, I think every Author continues a path of self-development, and with literature, or any art for that matter, being a very subjective field to play in, you can never please everyone. Sometimes not even yourself. But letting your book out into the world, and allowing for those opinions and reviews to happen, is the only way to make you stronger. Even if my stories touch only a few, that is enough to make me happy.

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