Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Holiday

Actually we are hard at work making all our trips and lattes tax deductible by doing research!

But for this month let's reflect on how we respond to feedback - not emotionally, but after the first "Hey - I worked hard on Chapter 1 for the 7th time!" resistance is past. Total rewrite? Major character change? Minimal tweaking?

I write picture books so it is more like an on/off switch than a rheostat when it come to rewrites. Some recent feedback I got was: "This has possibilities once you rewrite the story - love the setting and character!" My first reaction was to offer to send a different story. But I decided to take the challenge and started at Square 1 - in this case the Sonora Desert. I did try to hang on to some of the stuff I loved - certain phrases or lines. Slowly, over 2 more revisions, 96.475% of that is gone, too. Now there is more action, more character development, more a story appropriate to the age intended. Well, it is probably more sale-able - and that was the feedback I was seeking.

Now it is at it's last edit before the partner editor sees it. I wonder how much she will change back without knowing it! The truth is I kinda miss the first story and the funny little character I had in my brain. I really miss the alliterative title!

At the Words in the Woods conference I got some great positive feedback from a professional writer and my critique group. Do you suppose that means those stories are ready to go after minimal tweaking?

Part of me thinks there can always be a better word on page 6 or more perfect rhyme in the last line. Did Very Hungry Caterpillar come out of Carle's pen the first try?