Monday, September 22, 2008
Tales from the Conference: My critique and Place your vote!
My SCBWI Carolina's conference experience started off with a 10 page critique with editor Martha Mahalick, editor at Greenwillow.
Martha gave me great insight and encouragement. On my current work in progress.
The encouragement: She said that what she read intrigued her and that she could tell that I had created a fully-realized world with interesting characters. My writing is smooth and dialogue flows naturally.
~squeal!~ That makes me happy.
But. . . . there's still work to be done.
1) my villian is too villiany, aka, too flat.
2) and she felt that some of the dialogue that included back story had too much info. There was a feeling that those sections of dialogue had a feeling of "too much info" for the readers benefit, instead of how people would really talk.
3) She thought I could give more thought to the Title. My original title was "The Search for the Charm Keepers" but she said that sounded more MG than YA. And though she wouldn't reject a piece based on a title, she said that there have been things that have come across her desk and the title alone made her want to pick it up and read it. So, if a better title can get an editors attention, you better bet your bippy that I'll work on it! :0)
So, what am I going to do to fix it?
1) I'm going to take my villian out for coffee and ask him about his childhood and what makes him tick. Why does he do what he does? How does he justify his actions, because surely he doesn't see himself as villian. How does he see himself? hmmmm. . . maybe I can get him a spot on Oprah, I'm sure she can get him to spill his gutts.
2) I'm not quite sure how to fix dialogue. The first step is to go through it again, find the places that need to be fixed and have my critique group do that too, and then go from there. If anyone has any advice on how to fix dialogue, please leave it in the comments. Any in put is appreciated.
and last #3) The title. I think I've decided on a new title "Unseen Enemy"
Do you like it? Cast your vote now!
Not onlly does Martha have great advice, but she has an awesome collection of shoes as well! and she says, I quote, "I think cute shoes are the secret to world domination."