Welp, the manuscript is away, and back in Caitlin's hands for review. With any luck, she'll begin shopping it around over the next month and a half. According to her, the back-to-school time is a great time to get publisher's interested as they update their catalogues for next summer reading. So here's to an OPTIMISTIC turn around time and good results!
On to other things - saw a great blog blurb about good writing being invisible - meaning the best writing is when the reader doesn't recognize it as great writing. The chapters flow from one to another, the scenes are seamless, and there isn't a lot of looking up words or floating backwards to try and remember what the heck happened.
Dan Brown's books are like this - that's why they sell so great. But it's a very difficult state to achieve, needless to say.
For one thing, everyone's tastes are different, so what's really easy to read for one person may be impossible for the next. Ken Follet's "Pillars of the Earth" is a great example of good storytelling, but I get thrown out of the story every time he goes into details regarding the cathedral. Moby Dick, the same way - how much do I really need to know about whaling to get to the story? Even my own book, The Timepiece Chronicles had to be parred down because I had way to much info about the Revolutionary War to keep kids interested.
The challenge is this: when we write, we know the story and can see it clearly in our head. And its usually about a subject we've researched, fallen in love with, and want to share with the world. This leads to one of two things that can throw the reader out of the story: 1) a lack of detail and a lot of unintended assumptions that the reader knows what we're talking about, or 2) TOO much detail trying to get across absolutely everything. In either case, the reader stumbles upon something that throws them out of the story, and rather than being an observer to a great adventure they're now an interpreter. That makes it too much work to read.
Check out KIDLIT.com (the link's to the right) to see more. It's interesting stuff. And keep in mind when you're writing that I haven't the foggiest idea what's in your head, so you better tell me. Just not too much. ;0)
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....