Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Huzzah! A little celebratory blog post. I just got comments back from my pact reader. He offered some criticism of my pacing (I expected this) and made all the right suggestions. He doesn't know it yet, but I am totally setting him up for a big jolt.

He went exactly where I wanted him to go with David. In the first chapter I scoop the child David up and dump him in college in a few short paragraphs. My pact reader was all WTF? and suggested I develop his transition into college and expound on the social and emotional pressures on David. PERFECT! This is exactly the view of David that I was hoping him to have. The aspects of his experience that David chooses to remember tell us so much more about his personality than having him live through those experiences in the narrative. They're extraneous to Claire's story anyway, so I give them a good glossing over. Also, David is, understandably, a little lost in subsequent chapters. If the reader is lost, too, then they're right there on the journey with David. I have created a sympathy between the character and reader.

And nearly every point that my pact reader comments on is asking for insight into what David is feeling. I nearly broke out singing for joy that I have successfully sanitized David's narrative of all feeling, because that is really, really hard for me to do. Basically, all of my character interactions take place inside someone's head, feeling from within, and it's a treat to have the challenge of writing a character who simply doesn't feel. So, good for me.

And there was one comment that wasn't made that I'm really happy about. There was no mention of the inflated (dare I say academic) voice of David. This is good as it means that my reader either, a) noticed the wordiness but it wasn't annoying enough to detract from the scene, or b) didn't notice it at all. Either way is fine with me so long as it's not going to turn people off.

I have made a few minor revisions that are crucial and that I just didn't catch, so I'm going to have a write a big thank you e-mail to my pact reader tonight.

One more thing, and this is the most important: my reader can't wait for more.

So I declare chapter one to be a success.

No comments: