First off, let me apologize for not posting anything yesterday. I'd like to say it was because I was a day late on the internet blackout, but the ugly truth was that I had a Lions Club meeting, got back home late, and couldn't get a post together. Most weeks when I know I have a meeting, I prepare something ahead of time, but it just wasn't happening. So, again, I apologize.
On the writing front, I was a little more successful. I was able to write another chapter of The Deliverers II, the as yet unnamed second adventure. I was pretty pleased with how things were going, so I let my wife read everything I'd written so far.
I love my wife. She keeps me grounded while encouraging me to reach for the stars. But she's a tough critic. That's a good thing, but it isn't much good for my ego. So she reads the book so far. I'm sitting on the couch pretending to read a book, trying not to look interested, and looking at her from the corner of my eye. There was some chuckling. Good sign. Stephanie doesn't chuckle easliy. Like I said--tough critic.
Then, she finishes and turns to look at me. "Well?" I ask, shaking with nerves. This is the first human being that's read this thing. What will the response be? I know she loved the first one--after I fixed it.
"Well, it's good. There's only a couple of things."
She brought up a couple good little points. The kind that make you say, oh, yeah, that would be better. Then she says, "There's one part with Hallo that I don't get."
Defensiveness rears its ugly head. "What? What don't you get?"
"There's one part where he says he 'bought the mine'..."
"Yeah, that's kind of like a takeoff on bought the farm. He's a dwarf, they don't have farms, so the dwarf saying is bought the mine. It's supposed to be funny."
"I don't get it."
"What? What's not to get?"
"Bought the farm? What does that mean?"
I was speechless. She'd never heard the term, and insisted that it's not a common phrase. I was flabbergasted. Well, we had a pointless little chat about that for a while. But it just goes to show, that you never know what someone brings--or doesn't bring--to a book.
But that wasn't her most important contribution. her last, most important point was about the chapter I'd just written. There's a point when Stig has to reveal themself to people from the world they're visiting. She pointed out that they were too accepting or willing to believe he was who he said he was.
This was a good point, but it didn't make me happy. For one thing, I didn't like the fact that she had caught it and I hadn't. So I became a grumpy gus right away. It also meant that I had to work a little harder to make the whole scene work. I think the character will have to prove themself before that section of the story will be able to move forward. All in all, it will improve the book, but it will take a little more effort.
So, there you are. While my ego wishes I had someone who would read what I write and say that it was Pullitzer or Newbury material, I'm lucky that I have someone who will tell it like it is. Even if she's not up to date on all the common expressions, she'll help me be the best writer I can be.