Obviously if you’re just joining us you should read the post before this one.
Ok, moving right along.
The problems with Leaves:
For one thing, it is incredibly difficult to write children. I have probably not spent enough time with children to be able to write them well. Molly started out as an eight-year-old who spoke and acted with the perspicacity of a world-weary grandmother. When my mother pointed this out, I changed it so Molly was ten. So then she became a ten-year-old who spoke and acted with the perspicacity of a world-weary grandmother.
“It probably does,” Molly stated, picking up another nut. “You’re trying to sound sure of yourself to make me feel better, but you know as well as I do that our chances of finding her aren’t very good. First of all, before I could look for her, I’d have to look for a way back to my village, and that would be hard enough. Then I’d have to actually search for her all over the countryside, which is also an impossible task.”
The biggest problem, though, is one I still face – I was attempting to write a historical novel when my grasp of history is laughably poor. Whenever I try to write books of this nature, I run into the same questions I can never answer: How did they speak? What technology did they have available to them? What historical events had happened? How did they travel? Did they wear hats? What were the class systems like? On and on. And I tried to write despite not knowing any of that, which, as you can imagine, did not work out so well.
Finally, the plot was shaky and cobbled together, the characters not well developed enough, and the tone too kitschy. I had set out to make it read like a dark fairy tale. Instead it reads like a book someone wrote with the goal of having it sound like a dark fairy tale.
HOW I’D FIX IT – For one thing, I’d have to do my research. Maybe learn how kids act, talk, and think. Definitely learn how History works. I’d tighten up the plot and really try to give each character a life of his or her own. Those are the issues that I need to tackle before I can even begin to rewrite this book, and I just don’t know when I’ll have the time.
That’s it for now. Might want to talk about Grotesque. We’ll see how I feel.
Word of the Day: Perspicacity (n) – Keenness of mental perception and understanding; discernment