Query Update: Feedback

Photo courtesy of Rachel O'Laughlin

Hi friends!

So, querying has been rather fun so far. I'm not saying it's a piece of cake, receiving rejections is never awesome. But I've been lucky enough to get personal feedback from two agents I really respect.

The first had requested the full manuscript. While I'm not sure if she read the whole thing, I was grateful for her feedback. It sounded rather subjective though, so I set it aside in my mind. The second had my first fifty pages, and her feedback was similar to the first, which made me think twice about it. 

That's my thing: if only one person gives a response to my writing that doesn't feel right, I generally brush it off. But if multiple people say the same thing, I pay more attention, and give it more consideration. 

This feedback was about narrative voice. Things like, more of the story coming through in the details/ action/ dialog, rather than the author "playing narrator." And they didn't feel "immersed enough in the world." I think these things are related. 

The last couple of days, I've been watching lectures from a scifi/fantasy writing class at BYU taught by Brandon Sanderson. In one lecture, he talks about something called The Pyramid of Abstraction. This is basically a diagram way of saying that the more abstract something is, the less drawn-in the reader will feel. 

An example he gives: 

The wooden bed. 

That's nice, we can all see a wooden bed in our minds, right? But we're all likely seeing a *different* wooden bed. To make it more concrete, without adding too many words, we could say, 

The log bed. 
or
The decorative wooden bed. 

Both of those give very different images, and plant us more firmly in two completely different settings, without saying much more. 

I'll be the first to agree that my books could use a little fattening-up. I write Fantasy, but I'm actually a rather sparse writer. This is both a blessing and a curse. 

But I digress. Knowing the feedback and the lesson together, plus some awesome suggestions from a CP, I'm going to do another revision. Maybe I'll get more requests, maybe not. We'll have to wait and see :)

Thanks for reading. What are YOU up to? Reading anything? Writing anything? Tell me about it!

-DC

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