sayonara-postcard-brighter WRITING a novel is all about developing a killer plot and believable characters to their full potential. Honest feedback and critique can fine-tune your manuscript into something publishable !! …

Konnichiwa! … I’m announcing : SAYONARA is now in the critical final stages, and I’m considering  every suggestion that my Beta readers are making.

I wrote my crime faction novel, basing it on a personal story … Our Japanese exchange student, Yumi disappeared off the streets of Brisbane, Australia.

My family grew to love Yumi over a three-year period , forming a close bond with her. Recent traumatic events in Japan have intensified our connections with the Japanese people.

SAYONARAMy alter ego – Josie Roberts, a pacifist forensic student, aggressively investigates Yumi’s disappearance.

SAYONARA is a unique meld of memoir and crime fiction. Will you discern between truth and my imagination?

In 2009, I first fleshed out SAYONARA’s dramatic story and characters with Queensland Writers Centre’s Year of the Edit writing course.  A team of participants  read the first few crucial chapters , offering invaluable feedback. A special thanks to a Japanese teacher who critiqued an early draft of SAYONARA, checking out the Japanese speech and customs throughout the book.

What did I do next?
In 2010, I entered SAYONARA into a writing competition with Olvar Wood Writing Retreat. Olvar Wood assessed the first 40 pages of SAYONARA in detail plus  provided feedback on my synopsis.
Then I buried SAYONARA deep in my bottom drawer to percolate while I created JOSH VS. LORD TERRA, Book 2 of the  Super Space Kids Series.

I’ve now restructured SAYONARA incorporating Olvar Wood’s suggestions …
•    MAIN CHARACTER >>>I beefed up Josie the forensic student so the reader knows she’s equipped to investigate Yumi’s disappearance.
•    DIALOGUE >>>I’ve tightened the dialogue in SAYONARA, increasing the pace and intensity.
•    SETTING >>>The City of Brisbane now lives and breathes on the page as a three-dimensional socio-economic crime setting.

How I LOVE my Picky Bitches …
Three weeks ago, I dispatched SAYONARA to trusted beta readers so they could rake through the story and provide constructive criticism. Chewing on my nails, I waited until the crits began to come in.
YAY, they like SAYONARA! And each has delivered their own personal slant, bestowing me with a wealth of ideas and perspectives to consider.

My ‘picky bitches’ are sworn to absolute secrecy and won’t be bribed to reveal the kick-ass plot … So please don’t try!

Writing a novel is teamwork … A special thanks to my ‘picky bitches‘  … You know who you are :))

I promise SAYONARA will be completed soon with a tighter plot, and characters you’ll love! … Please say hello, SAYONARA

**Have you ever had your manuscript professionally assessed or sent out to beta readers? … How helpful was their feedback?

# This blog was edited. KT

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8 comments to TRUE CRIME FACTION– Say Hello SAYONARA

  • Kathy

    Well you’ve been busy!
    How long did it take to write SAYONARA?

  • Hi Kathy, I started SAYONARA in 2008 as a memoir and took it to Year of the Edit the following year, turning it into a crime Faction :))

  • Joanna Gaudry

    Nice post, Karen, and it was lovely to catch up with you last weekend. I’m glad you appreciated my critique of Sayonara and know you have plenty to think about after all the feedback from your ‘Beta Readers’. You are one busy lady! Good luck with the editing and reworking of Sayonara.
    Bye for now, Joanna :))
    P.S. Thank you very much for the sweet card and full-bodied shiraz. Both are lovely! Hope you take a few days out for yourself over the Easter break.

  • Hi Joanna, Really enjoying reading your Crit over again and incorporating your insightful ideas. Love the way SAYONARA is transforming in front of me. Loved catching up with you again. I hope you have a lovely Easter and I promise to take a few days off. Or at least two. LOL.

  • Steve

    Good luck with all the edits and rewrites. Sayonara is a story that will attract an audience. Wishing you every success.

  • Thanks. I’m listening to advice and very motivated in completing Sayonara so I can send it out :))


    Hi Karen, I like the name Mimi as your character in Sayonara.

  • Thanks Garry, Great suggestion :))

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