Apologies to Steve Martin in The Jerk. But hey, I'm excited! Ok, they weren't as huge as "SONY BOUGHT THE MOVIE RIGHTS" but they weren't as bad as "I've decided to use your manuscript as birdcage liner. Hope you don't mind".
So, here's what Caitlin had to say:
First of all - she starts out very sweet and optimistic - I won't quote her word for word because that wouldn't be fair to her - she wrote the email assuming it'd be private, and that I wouldn't share all the horrible things she said about me to with the world.
Anyway, she started out like any good critiquer (is that a word?) should: positive. Here's what works. You've worked hard, kept the original characters voices true, great story and so on.
Then they hit you with the BUT.
Three things need to be fixed: the antagonist, who seems a little harsh for middle grade fiction, the subplot regarding another family from the 18th century, and the ending. None of which are major show stoppers, but I do want to speak to her about the antagonist. I mean, he's been a really mean jerk since the beginning, so I'm not sure why now all of a sudden he's TOO rough.
I'll let you know what I find out.
The subplot I'm not worried about. I added that on the last pass through, so I expected some changes. The ending is a tweak, nothing major, just something to make it more suspenseful and ambiguous (does he die or doesn't he).
Overall, I'm thrilled to hear that she's ok, although she didn't offer any explanations as to why it took so long to get back to me (I suspect there may be another writer in her life. I'll have to have her tailed to find out for sure).
But most importantly - it means I've got work to do!
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....