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?