I met with Anne Zouroudi this weekend for our first official meeting in our mentoring process. We are making good progress. The minutes of our meeting follow:
WEM Mentoring Scheme Update

25th November 2013

Following an informal meeting in October, Garry and I agreed the manuscript we will work on is ‘The Boy Who Made God Smile’. Though the version I read was short, it’s a beautifully written tale of a young boy in India, and has all the ingredients of commercial appeal – originality, human interest, an exotic setting – which we’re hoping will give Garry the breakthrough he deserves.
Prior to our meeting on 25/11/13, Garry had rewritten the opening of the book which is now much stronger.

Our overall game-plan is as follows:
– Develop a strong sub-plot to give one of the most intriguing characters, Lunasha, a full character-arc and a positive outcome to her story
–  Develop the main plot to resolve the central issue of the grandfather’s illness and the choice he has to make: life or death
–  Develop the role of Jack within the narrative to add intrigue to the storyline and bring out the theme of godliness and corruption
–  Develop the supporting characters, fleshing out especially the young boy’s relationship to his mother and father, and the father’s relationship to his own father

This work taken together should naturally increase the word-count from where the original stood (around 30k) to a full-length novel of between 70k and 100k words.
Garry has already begun work on the Lunasha sub-plot with extremely promising results. We agreed that he should continue on the sub-plot with the aim of completing it by the new year when we plan to meet again.

I have however stressed that this deadline is moveable as we are looking for quality rather than speed.
We agreed the next task would be to talk through the development of the main plot.
I have also suggested Garry read as much as he can from the fiction best-seller lists to gauge current tastes and what publishers are buying.
All in all, I’m feeling very positive about how the novel is developing and am looking forward to reading more.