Michele Regenold, Writing for Kids from the Boondocks

A blog about writing for children and the quest for publication.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Semester two at Vermont College

I see I've been slacking off lately. I haven't discussed my second semester at Vermont College. Time to rectify that oversight, since there's only one month left in my semester.

I'll be turning in homework packet number four (of five) on Nov. 8. This was probably the most ambitious work that Uma Krishnaswami, my adviser this semester, has asked of me.

First, she asked me to cut a scene I really liked (and Michael Stearns liked it too, by the way) and reduce any heavyhanded display of emotion from chapter one. The comment about emotion is pretty funny because showing enough emotion has been something I've struggled with. Guess I went overboard the other way.

Second, she asked me to consider cutting out the chapters told from the viewpoint of a different character and tell the story from a single point of view. When I told my critique group I was going to do this, Kate gasped. She really likes Jake. But when go I back and forth between POV characters, it really chops up the story and messes up the flow. Besides, I'm trying to write a hard-boiled mystery and traditionally those are told from a single, first-person narrator. Jake isn't gone. He's just seen only through Nic's eyes.

Third, I'm supposed to rewrite the first five chapters, making sure something happens in each and that the tension keeps ratcheting up.

Fourth, for new work this time, I'm supposed to write the scene where Nic finds out who the murderer is. I know who the murderer is, but I don't exactly know how she finds that out. Still. Guess I'll just hit the keyboard and see what comes out. It's always interesting to see what the ol' subconcious has been working out.

I told Uma I wasn't scared. I could do this. I'm a tough Midwesterner. This was after my initial reaction of "are you s******* me?"