Jan, your participle is dangling ...
I’m finishing up, what I hope to be, final revisions on Dead Bird through the Cat Door, the second in the Megabyte Mystery series. I thought I’d do a couple of blog posts over the next two weeks and share with my bloggowers some of the feedback I got from my young readers. The group is made up of 6 girls and boys aged 9-13 – five read the manuscript and one drew an illustration of one of the characters.
We were on our way to a Vietnamese restaurant, to share some noodles while discussing the manuscript. This is a conversation I had with E, one of my young readers before she even got all the way into the car and had her seatbelt securely snapped into place.
E: So, this is supposed to be like you’re writing it from like … you’re the kid right?
Me: Right, so everything has to be from the kid’s point of view.
E: Because sometimes she sounds like an adult in a kid’s body.
Me: (ouch) Oh, ... we’ll ... that’s great feedback, I hope you marked the spots where it sounded like an adult in a kid’s body.
It was valuable feedback and she did mark the spots. I also got a few Woot Woots! That is why it’s important to workshop your manuscript with your target audience. They are dead on with what works and what doesn’t. All of them had read and marked up the manuscript, and I got some great feedback which I used in the rewrite.
There is a belief (one of those rules with lots of exceptions to it) that boys won’t read books with female protagonists. So I was happy to have three boys in my young readers group. I asked them if they were bothered that the main characters were girls. They said they didn’t care whether the main characters were boys or girls. In their heads they just substituted the girl characters for boy characters. They also said that they could relate to what the girl characters were going through.
I thought that was interesting. Since then, lots of boys have bought, read, and loved the first book Dead Frog on the Porch. So I guess it appeals to both boys and girls.
Next post: Slang, pink shirts on boys and an illustration of Aviary Finch – crazy or evil?