For those of you keeping score - this is the THIRD revision I've gotten notes back on from Caitlin the Agent. The first one, I had to change the entire second half: was too text-booky (and if that's not a word it is now). The second one, good but needed more suspense. Got it. Ramped up the suspense and now got these notes:
Great job on the suspense - each chapter is a cliffhanger (a requirement for Middle Grade fiction. Well, actually any kind of fiction. You want the reader to continue right? You know how many times I've cursed Dan Brown for ending a chapter that way because I'd HAVE to read on?)
Anyway - she doesn't believe the ending! So, here's today's lesson: the ending, the actions of the characters in particular, HAVE to follow suit with the rest of the book. The ending has to leave the reader thinking "Of COURSE that's what happened! He wouldn't have done it any other way."
In that, I have failed. My protagonist's father, a brilliant historian, great dad, and all around wise and wonderful human, destroys the timepiece and looks like a complete doofus. Not quite consistent.
So, I have to go through and rethink that. The trick is, it's supposed to lead to a second book, and I need the watch gone to ratchet up the stakes, so I gotta figure out how to do that.
More on the overall lessons I'm learning later. I'm excited by the feedback, and encouraged that it wasn't a step backwards. We're making progress, and I'm hoping that this last go-round will be the LAST go-round.
At least, until a publisher gets their hands on it.
I'm starting a new book today with that as the title. "The Strength To Stand Up. Memoirs of an Unemployed Man." People have...
Great time had at the SCBWI conference on Saturday! And a big hello to my friends from that conference who've hopefully joined us here....