Monday, June 8, 2015
Following on from the 'Research the Crap out of it...' post, I'm quite excited by my next piece of research. Well, when I say 'excited', it would probably be more truthful to say it's a nervous, apprehensive and concerned type of excitement.
'Elementals' is a recent project, a story targeting the early teen/YA that I would liken to Harry Potter meets Gandalf & Bilbo, meets Indiana Jones. I have let a few of my usual proofreaders/story checkers read it and (modestly) the feedback has been favourable. But this Saturday I'm actually going to be sitting down with a real live critic whom I know is going to be 100% honest, brutally so, because that's what twelve year olds are. It just so happens that this twelve year old is a word machine, his eye's digest words quicker than... well.... quicker.. than...ermm.. quicker than a really quick thing. (My advanced apologies to all those that have been kind enough to review my other publications.) I don't know if it's just me but.... to actually sit opposite someone that has no ties to me at all, whom I have never met before, but who represents my target audience, seems quite daunting.... AND, I'm paying for the McDonalds!!
Let me tell you how this came about:
In my day job it is important that I build good relationships with customers, it's actually pivotal. But let's not forget that I'm a nice guy so it ain't too difficult to like me. Anyway, I was introduced to a customer that was about to fall into my care, and we got chatting. Somewhere in the conversation I did mention that I had written a couple of books, and we discussed a number of topics around books and films. As it turns out this guy has a son who is an avid reader... not just 'avid' but more avid than a really avid thing, possibly living on Avid Street. We're talking A.V.I.D. It's a sad reflection that it is so unusual to find a kid of that age that wants to read. My brain starts thinking that this could be a multi-pronged win/win situation; he's in need of reading material and I've got pages of the stuff that is (supposedly) written for his age group. The next time we met up the client kindly brought the topic around to my writing, I offered to let his son have the script of Elementals, and thankfully he agreed. I meet some great people eh, but now I face the demon that I have created (Drama!). Maybe he should eat the McD's before he starts the critique?
Anyway Cab, do your worst, give me the feedback right between the eye's. And thank you for agreeing to do it. All of the other reviewers were great, and I thank them as well, but if you want to know the raw truth... ask a kid - especially when the target audience are kids: Sometimes the logic stuns me.
I'll let you know the outcome.