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I’ve been writing fiction since March-April last year, and had the best moments in my miniscule writing career in the last week or so.

I’ve had two excellent writing experts, Jeremy Sheldon, and Sarah Butler take a look at my stories, and as I’ve said to them, (and to anybody who’d care to listen *blush*), I learned a whole lot through the feedback.

I ripped apart two of my stories, and edited/ re-wrote them, and it was a wonderful, happy, invigorating experience.

I never thought I would say that about re-writes. First drafts, yes. But not 8th or 10th drafts. Those are supposed to be technical, dry, draining.

But with both these sessions, it was as if lights bulbs went off inside me, and I could see, really see, how to make my stories work. These guys really know how to get to the heart of a story.

While Jeremy gave me concrete pointers on what to work on, and how to work on it, Sarah asked a few questions that really, really opened my eyes: I set about chopping paragraphs and adding in new stuff right there and then.

I sat up most of last night re-writing the story after Sarah’s feedback, and quite a bit of the morning today.

I’m not sure if a reader will love these two, but finally, at long last, I do. And when I re-visit my other stories, I might see ways to fix them I wouldn’t have spotted before.

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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