real time web stats

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Little Feedback on Part 2 from TX Gifted School

This is a little feedback from the middle school in Texas on MS3 Part 2, The Saeshell Book of Time: The Rebirth of Innocents. More is expected to follow next week.

One student (a girl) has finished part II. She loved it. She said it was even better than the first one. Her new favorite character is TOVA2, which is changed from book one. She said her favorite character in book 1 wasn't in book 2. The concepts continue to be challenging, but not hard.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Late Feedback from TX Librarian MS3 Installment #1

Although MS4 Installment #1 is well underway, I found some of the feedback this librarian gave me on the MS3 version of Installment #1 interesting. Her comment about the book being visual is interesting because I hadn't realized how visually oriented my thought processes really are. Some of the things she points out, such as keeping track of the relationships between the characters, I'm not sure how to address. MS4 does bring the characterization of Elof2, Stefan, and Tova2, the main characters, out much stronger so that perhaps not knowing the history of Ty and Tyco at this point won't be such an issue.

I did read your book and I didn't like it as much as I really wanted to. I really think your book would make a great movie! It is so visual--a movie would make it much easier to keep up with the characters and the action.

Anyway, here is my two cents...

I did like and care about Stefan and Elof2. I liked the background information you gave about their family life and how they were treated by their families. That's really what made me care about them.

I have to admit I spent a lot of time lost about who was who, where they were and what they were seeing/observing. I felt like I needed a visual aid or some type of family tree to show relationships. I really did have a hard time keeping everyone straight. This was the complaint of several of the girls who tried to read it, they just couldn't track what was going on.

I felt that the characters Ty and Tyco had names that were too similar and that confused me. Of course, it's also possible that I'm an idiot....

Sometimes the dialogue didn't ring true to the characters--like when Ty and Tyco would use slang. It didn't seem to fit. I know they are young, but they didn't talk that way enough for it to seem natural for them.

The scientific explanations could have been less detailed. Somehow those got in the way of the story for me. Since it's science fiction, I could take more on faith and didn't need the longer explanations you gave because I then had to start analyzing what you were saying and it just didn't all make sense to me. I think less might be more on that.

I know this is a trilogy and more character development will follow, but I wanted to know more about Ty and Tyco. Towards the end of the book you did give some more info but it was almost too late for me. I wasn't invested in them as characters and I felt like I should have cared more about them than I did.

I would have liked a little more action throughout the book. The climax was good, but it was a long wait.

You have accomplished something I never could--writing a book and finishing it and then having the guts to submit it and put it out there for others to read and potentially criticize! I really admire you for that and wish you the best. I do believe the book has so much potential to be a great young adult book/movie, it's just not there for me yet.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Feedback on Early MS4 Changes

This feedback is from my Northern California gifted 6th grade boy. He just received signed copies of the manuscript because he is the first to complete all 4 parts of The Saeshell Book of Time. I gave him some "hot off the pen" changes in part 1, basically the beginning of the MS4, deep characterization pass changes.

A very thought provoking book. I like some of the changes you made but others were a little bit confusing. For example, you state that Tova2 and Stefan love each other very much but in the beginning they argue a lot which makes it seem like they dislike each other. You should spread the griping out more so it looks more realistic but does not change our perception of their relationship. On page 86, after 6 of the quadruple diamonds, "errant peace of technology" should be "errant [piece] of technology." If you are to make a sequel, though, I, and a lot of others would prefer it if there was a bit more action. I also have a suggestion for the cover of the book when it comes out, Stefan on a medical couch with Tova2 linked to his, Paul7 in the distance shooting a lightning bolt, Sophistan1 in the corner, by his side a Seashell and Anashivalia reading from the book of time in the center. Thank you so much for a copy of the novel and if you know anyone who needs their manuscript read just give it to the library and I will take a look at it. Thank you.

[Anxiety... It is uncomfortable for me to make the changes I am making to the characters. A big publisher reviewed a copy (MS1), much earlier than what the Early Readers read (MS3), and told me that they wanted deeper characterization with the novel more character-centric. Digging deeper into the character's psyche exposes more of the character's quirks and flaws. Those quirks and flaws make the characters more memorable but exposing the flaws breaks the Utopian feel somewhat of the novel. The novel becomes a bit more gritty. That may actually appeal more to a YA audience but I am targeting the novel toward MG (middle school grades). MG kids have had less exposure to the conflicts of the world (such as a lover's triangle) and thus I might be breaking the characters for them. So now while I am modifying the novel, I am fearful of alienating the original readers that really liked the novel. I am plenty scared. ]

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Middle School Boy from TX Comments About Part 1

He finished reading Installment #1:

I loved the ending! I'm going to ask for the second book tomorrow.

My favorite character is Tyco because he can make anything, even a penny, into a weapon. My favorite chapter isn't really a chapter but it is the intro. I liked it because it tells about the Saeshells and the book of time.