Sunday, March 9, 2014

Earth to Liza; come in, Liza

I'm sitting here next to my first, best, and most beloved test reader: my daughter Liza.  She's eight years old ("Almost nine!" she would say, if she weren't concentrating on my manuscript), and she is both my intended audience and the reason I got into writing in the first place.

Right now, she's gobbling up my latest manuscript, which is in its last revision and was sent out today to my tribe of test readers.  She's read it twice before, and it hasn't changed substantially since the last version she read, so it's not like there's anything especially surprising in the draft she's reading today.  And yet when I tried to get her to put the pages down at the end of each chapter to ask for her feedback, I had to basically wrestle them away from her to get her attention.  I eventually gave up, figuring I'd just go through the whole thing once she was done with it all.

Of course I am pleased that she's so caught up in it that I have to drag her back to reality in order to get any sort of information from her about the book.  That's what I always hope for, and what every revision tries to make better and better.  I've been slashing and cutting, tightening and describing, ramping up the speed of the action and trying to make the dialogue a little snappier, all at the same time.  Apparently, it's working.

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