Ok, two more strike outs, and I'm too friggin' tired to go through the lineup again. Bottom line, we're down to two publishers left after missing on all the others. Here's the response from Caitlin:
"No good news I'm afraid. First, I've heard back from two more editors who are passing--Ari Lewin at Putnam/Penguin and Wendy Loggia at Delacorte/Random. Both sent relatively generic letters without any useful feedback.
I'll nudge the two editors who still have the manuscript--at Greenwillow and Dial/Penguin--but it's hard to be hopeful at this stage..."
Also, Caitlin mentioned that the third person re-write wasn't working, and even if I did take out all the time/point of view errors it still would be weaker than the two voices that I have.
So I called her, and we're going to retry the pitch, and I'm going to look at the dual-first person to see if I can make it cleaner.
But it's something no one's ever done before. There's not a single Middle Grade fiction instance of a dual first person narrative. Something conversational, casual, as if two best friends were relating their experiences with you.
Wait...no one's ever done it before? It's hopeless? Forget it?
THAT'S JUST WHAT THEY TOLD HENRY FORD!
"The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty, a fad."
The president of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford's lawyer not to invest in the Ford Motor Co., 1903.
AND THE WRIGHT BROTHERS!
"Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical (sic) and insignificant, if not utterly impossible." - Simon Newcomb; The Wright Brothers flew at Kittyhawk 18 months later. Newcomb was not impressed.
AND ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL!
"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."
A memo at Western Union, 1878 (or 1876).
(hat tip to 2spare.com! http://www.2spare.com/item_50221.aspx)
Bottom line? In a few years, someday, you will read about a popular new writing style for middle grade boys - a style in which TWO main characters relay the story in a conversational mode, like they are in the room with your reader. They banter back and forth, while still conveying the basics of the story, enthralling young readers and bringing them into the very world of the heroes.
Mark my word.
OPTIMISM HAS RETURNED!
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....