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  • Could This Get Published??

     Anagrammer updated 2 months, 3 weeks ago 11 Members · 29 Posts
  • Anagrammer

    Member
    July 1, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    I am in the early planning stages of a novel geared for 5th-8th graders. The main character is a 12-year-old girl whose parents recently divorced. She is a mature, perceptive girl and is forced to take on a lot of responsibilities, physically and emotionally. She is ‘raising’ her younger brothers, trying to keep the peace between the two people she loves (i.e. not mentioning Tatty’s name in Mommy’s presence), and she is just too young for her life’s challenges! She goes through a LOT, with her father’s remarriage, a major fight with her best friend (and then hooking up with not the nicest girls in the class), struggling academically… until she finally opens up to an adult in her life (either to a favorite teacher/tutor – didn’t decide yet). She finally gets the emotional validation she craved all along and is able to figure out what is too much for her to handle alone and what she can learn to live with, and most importantly, how crucial open communication is.

    Now, my question really is… Is this something that would be published? Or is divorce too much of an untouchable topic for girls that age? If it is, is there a way I can approach it more sensitively than what I just outlined?

  • Fayge Y.

    Member
    July 1, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    I can’t tell you if it would get published. I can tell you that we would definitely put in the middle school and up section.

    I do have a question: can the kids really not mention one parent within reference of the other? Is this all part of your plot? Because that’s way beyond a nice teacher helping.

  • Anagrammer

    Member
    July 1, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    No, they can mention the name, you’re right. The first chapter (as of now) is the younger brother’s birthday. Tatty takes them out for ice cream. They come home way too full for the pizza surprise Mommy baked for them. Sari (main character) forces herself to eat a few bites of pizza because she’s afraid Mommy will be upset that Tatty filled them up before supper. That night she overhears her mother saying on the phone to her sister that the kids barely touched the pizza that she worked so hard on. Sari cries herself to sleep. That’s what I mean when I say they can’t mention the other parent…

  • Anagrammer

    Member
    July 1, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    And also the ‘nice teacher’ is not necessarily going to just help; she might refer Sari to the school guidance counselor… I have to see how it all plays out… Does this make sense at all??

  • Enjoys Writing

    Member
    July 2, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    I think it sounds nice. I have some vague memories of a book titled Dollhouse (sorry, I’m not so good at remembering/ crediting authors, but it was definitely a good book) where the protagonist was young (maybe even younger than twelve) and it spoke about the struggles of divorce, etc. albeit in a different context, so your idea is definitely one that I think would sell. It sounds nice, and I’d be comfortable letting my thirteen-year-old read it (I’d read it first ‘for fun!’).

  • Leahle

    Member
    July 2, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    I don’t think there is any Problem for 14/15 year olds to read such a book. It definitely sounds like a Good plot. Maybe add some Suspense to it….

  • C.K.

    Member
    July 2, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    Here’s my take as a mom of a preteen. For the ages of 10-13 (5-8) grade I’d like to see novels that are more emotionally simplistic than the plot you describe, because that is what is age appropriate. . . While friendships are a great topic for girls that age – all the conflicts you describe are a lot for a preteen to process.  A reader takes an emotional journey along with the protagonist. The preteen in your story needs to “grow up before her time”, become a mother to her siblings and be more mature than her parents. Therefore processing a character that has to grow up before her time, takes skills from a preteen that she does not have yet. . . I’d definitely be okay with my high school daughters reading such a book and it sounds like it could be an eye-opener in terms of  helping high schoolers understand that a classmate may be struggling with more than meets the eye.

    In terms of a novel centering on divorce for preteens, I’d choose simpler conflicts and keep the emotional intensity lower than in that of a teenage novel. . . (How to go to the father’s side simchos alone, or with a little sister. To take the mother’s newly remarried name or not. To help out extra with a step-mother’s new baby or not. Relating to the father’s personality more, while living mainly with the mother. . . etc.)

  • Anagrammer

    Member
    July 2, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    Thank you, C.K., that was very enlightening. I actually want to write this novel because growing up, I had a friend whose parents got divorced when she was a tween. I, as her friend, was completely at a loss at how to handle it, what was okay to speak about and what wasn’t, how to relate to her struggles… I think she herself was missing that emotional validation and tried to find it in me. As of now, the novel is being told from the main character’s perspective, a childish outlook. For that reason, I’m not sure a high schooler would enjoy it. Now, the emotional intensity is high in some parts, but mostly just her telling her story in a childishly innocent way (I know, I know, I’m trying to rationalize; I just really want this message to get out there somehow).

  • C.K.

    Member
    July 2, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    Go for it! You’d be surprised at how profound a book written in a younger child’s voice could be. . . And even if the voice is young, the content could still be mature and appeal to an older reader. Dollhouse, which is a book about divorce as mentioned here, is an example of just that. It’s written in the voice of a very young child and the intended audience is definitely teenage.

  • riva pomerantz

    Administrator
    July 2, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    Anagrammer, this is EXACTLY the kind of question for a person like Chaya Baila Lieber, whom we heard from on Sunday! Did you get the email replay link with her email addresses in it? Great plotline, btw! Very, very true-to-life, unfortunately :-(. And how cool that you’re writing a novel, be”H!!!!

  • Anagrammer

    Member
    July 2, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    I read Dollhouse young, right when it came out, think third grade… It was one of my favorite reads (school librarian didn’t let me take it out, so I read it at a friend’s house on Shabbos afternoons 😉 ). I should look at it again now because I don’t remember much of it…

  • Enjoys Writing

    Member
    July 6, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    I don’t know if this is the place to mention, but the Mishpacha Junior is running a story, Double Dance about a blended family (second marriage), intended for tweens and teens, I guess, since it’s in the Junior. I love all of the author’s work (Bracha Rosman; I’m not sure whether or not she’s joined Masterpiece, but I’m offering my admiration either way).

    Since I am an avid reader, I sneak the Junior from my kids’ room when I don’t find anything else handy, and I personally find some of the scenarios raised in the serial way over-the-top for kids. As C.K. mentioned above,

     “reader takes an emotional journey along with the protagonist. The preteen in your story needs to “grow up before her time”, become a mother to her siblings and be more mature than her parents. Therefore processing a character that has to grow up before her time, takes skills from a preteen that she does not have yet.

    Reading about a mean step-sister (Devoiry, to my fellow Junior-readers) who appears to have it out for her new step-sister (Miri) makes me cringe each week anew. Maybe in a book version, the reader will have the ability to see the resolution as quickly as they can leaf through the pages and read the following words. In a serial, the scenes are left echoing in the readers’ heads for a long time, as each chapter slowly unfolds. There are multiple sub-plots to this amazing story, and I’m sure the ending will tie up the wonderful, loving family in a happily-ever-after bow, but my concerns are that young children of those who are contemplating or beginning a blended family will dread their daily life, for fear of the story pages coming true.

    So, Anagrammer, I think what I’m trying to say is that if the plot is good and realistic with a positive slant, such as the protagonist gaining tools as time goes on, seeing the silver lining in every situation, maybe coming closer to Hashem before the ultimate conclusion of adult help and therapy, then each part in and of itself has merit and a good lesson. It’s important to keep this in mind when writing for preteens. They’re easily influenced by stories, especially true-sounding ones, so if you keep the endless negativity out, and don’t make them think this will happen to them because they overheard their parents arguing one night last week, while including the skills the protagonist learns at every part of her journey, it might be easier for parents to allow their children to read.

  • Fayge Y.

    Member
    July 7, 2020 at 12:14 am

    Enjoys writing, the Jr. story is about a blended family but doesn’t involve divorce, visitation, etc. IIRC it’s focusing on the blending, not too much on the loss of the parents and missing them.

    IOW, it’s a very targeted focus.

    I’m trying to remember Dollhouse. It was very stark, very heavy. An executive decision was made for it to be h.s. only in the school library. I vote keep the tensions real but lighter and see where these people go. It’s all subject to change.

  • Baila

    Member
    July 7, 2020 at 5:07 am

    As with every book it depends on the teen.  Although we may think the topic is not “age appropriate” that is the point.  For kids who are going through divorce it could be validating and helpful to know there is help out there.  For kids who have friends going through this situation it could be helpful in understanding some of their challenges

    In the not frum world, they often put readers guides in the back of a book and something like this could be helpful for facilitating discussion.

    I really like the plot and as long as it is handled sensitively and hopefully I would read it, let my kids read it and pass it on to kids who could benefit.

     

  • Fayge Y.

    Member
    July 7, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    [quote quote=19923]As with every book it depends on the teen. Although we may think the topic is not “age appropriate” that is the point. For kids who are going through divorce it could be validating and helpful to know there is help out there. For kids who have friends going through this situation it could be helpful in understanding some of their challenges In the not frum world, they often put readers guides in the back of a book and something like this could be helpful for facilitating discussion. I really like the plot and as long as it is handled sensitively and hopefully I would read it, let my kids read it and pass it on to kids who could benefit.[/quote]

     

    There are so many books out there that discuss sensitive topics, and quite well. Shoshana Mael’s Dancing in the Dark comes to mind. I believe that there is a popular writer who now writes in Ami after  years in Mishpacha who has tackled an amazing array of sensitive topics, in a most readable, not pedantic fashion. I forget her name…But you asked, could this be published? Yes. Who will actually buy/read it? Good question. Ar you hoping to get published as a serial? All this could lead  you to edit and revise the focus.

  • Anagrammer

    Member
    September 4, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    Thank you, everyone, for your responses! So I am still unsure what category my story would fall into, as far as heaviness is concerned. Here are a couple of samples… If anyone has time and could skim through, please let me know if it sounds too heavy for young girls. If so, do you think I could adapt it, or should I drop it altogether?

     

    “Good morning!” I said chirpily as I boarded the school bus. My bus driver, a jolly, white-haired fellow tipped his cap to me as always.

    “G’morning, ma’am, and welcome aboard!”

    I chuckled and hurried off to find a seat at the back of the bus, where Libby and I always sat. Watching as the girls around me chattered with their seatmates, I sat quietly thinking. At the next stop, Libby got on and sat down next to me.

    “Hi, Sari.” She shrugged off her backpack and set it on her lap. “What are you thinking so deeply about?”

    “I don’t really know how to put it into words,” I sighed, slightly melodramatically.

    “Try me,” Libby said, turning serious. That’s what I liked most about her. Libby had a fun and light side but could also have the most philosophical discussions. It’s actually what had attracted me to her in the first place. It was in second grade, and Libby had raised her hand and asked why some people were born sick and how it was fair. The question had resonated with me, and although it had shocked our teacher, who’d been baffled as to how to answer it, I loved it, and at once, I loved Libby, too.

    “Well, I was just thinking how everyone is ‘normal’, and then there are some who are, like, ‘different.’”

    “What do you mean?” Libby was my best friend and could always get right into my mind, but being that her life was so different from mine, sometimes it took her a few tries to understand where I was coming from.

    “Like me, I’m ‘different’. I don’t live with my mother and my father.” Libby was silent for a moment, pondering my words.

    “Who else is ‘different’?” she finally asked.

    “Barely anyone else. Most people, at least in Bnos Chedva, are ‘normal’. Those are people like you, who live in a normal, functioning home.”

    “So you’re the only ‘different’ one in the school?” The bus stopped at a traffic light, and I waited until it turned green to answer.

    “No…” I thought for a moment. “Maybe… Rikki is also a little different.” Rikki Josephson’s father had passed away when she was little, but her mother had remarried years ago, and her stepfather had raised her as any normal father would. “But not as different as me. She’s mostly normal. And everyone else is normal.” Libby stared at me quietly. “What, Libby? Admit it, everyone thinks of me as not normal ‘cuz my parents are divorced, right?”

    “Sari, you’ve got it all wrong.” Libby paused. “No one is one hundred percent ‘normal’, as you say. Everyone has got some challenge or difficulty in their life. And that’s normal. So you are actually normal, too. As normal as everyone else is, at least.”

    “Oh, yeah?” I retorted. “So what’s your challenge?”

    “I have many small ones,” Libby answered wisely. “Like having so many little siblings whom I always have to babysit and Sruly with his digestive issues and delays.” I hadn’t thought of Sruly. He was the catalyst of Libby’s innocent question back in second grade after he had been born a few months early. Today, at three and a half years old, he was still lagging behind his peers, taking only a few steps at a time and speaking with a stutter. Worst of all, he had to eat with a feeding tube, could only drink a few sips of clear liquid at a time, and threw up almost everything that went down his throat.

    “Sruly’s a pretty big challenge,” I admitted. I hadn’t thought of him, simply because I had gotten so used to him over time, that he seemed pretty normal to me.

    “No, not in my books,” Libby said earnestly. “I love Sruly; he’s one of the biggest blessings in my life. His struggles pain me, but I’m so lucky to have him. And I definitely don’t consider myself ‘different’ because I’m his sister.”

    “That’s because you’re special, Libby. Most people would.”

    “I don’t think so,” she disagreed. “Tell me some girls you consider to be the most normal ones in the class.”

    “Mimi, Bina, and Kaily,” I said immediately. They were the most popular, well-liked girls in our class, and they seemed to have everything they could ever want. I would honestly confess to Libby that I was plain jealous of them.

    “Hmm…” Libby scrunched up her face in concentration. I wondered what she would find to say about them. Mimi, Bina, and Kaily were just perfect, and I could not imagine them struggling with anything. “Well,” she said finally, “Mimi’s an only child, which can get lonesome at times. Bina’s father works long hours, and she barely ever sees him. And Kaily… well, I don’t know her too well, but I don’t think she’s good at academics and needs tutors to help her.” I fell silent. Everything Libby had just pointed out was true and wasn’t new to me, but I’d never really thought about it. I’d never thought about how everyone had something hard in their life, big or small.

    “You’re right, Libs, thanks,” I said sincerely. “I don’t know what made me worthy of a friend like you.” She laughed.

    “I just had to knock some sense into your head. You’re the best friend, Sari, as ‘different’ as you think you are.” We were giggling our heads off by the time the bus pulled up at school.

     

    __________________________________________

     

    When Tatty eventually stopped the car in front of an attractive apartment building, I finally let the question escape my lips. “Where are we, Ta?” Emblazoned over the front entrance were the words ‘Greenspan Lodgings’. I wasn’t sure what ‘lodgings’ meant but decided to hold my tongue and wait to see what Tatty was bringing me here for.

    “You’ll see in due time!” He winked mysteriously and led me into the front lobby and then the elevator. The door opened on the fourth floor, and we stepped out and made our way down the carpeted hallway. When I noticed the logos emblazoned on the doors we passed, I realized we were in some sort of hotel. Tatty paused at a door towards the end of the hall. “Newmark Family” was inscribed on the nameplate.

    “It’s a long-term inn,” Tatty explained. “Families stay here while on extended vacations or use it as a temporary home. It’s rather expensive because the quarters are quite comfortable. It’s actually Jewish-owned, by a friend of mine, Yaakov Greenspan. I managed to get the Newmarks an apartment for a discounted price.” I fought the urge to ask who the Newmarks were, simply nodding at Tatty’s explanation. “I’d like you to meet the Newmarks. I think you’ll like them.” Tatty knocked twice, and the door swung open, revealing a well-dressed smiling woman.

    “Hello, Mordechai, come inside.” The woman leaned down to make eye contact with me and beamed. “You must be Sari! Your father told me so much about you!” I didn’t smile back at her. I didn’t like at her at all. What business did she have with my father?

    “Sari,” Tatty motioned to the woman who was standing awkwardly at the threshold. “This is Elisheva. She was so looking forward to meeting you and getting to know you.” Tatty’s voice was pleading.

    “Hello,” I managed curtly. Elisheva nodded at me, clearly fighting to keep her expression serene. I glared at Tatty. If he was engaged to this woman, couldn’t he at least let me know before bringing me into her home without a warning or explanation? Did Tatty expect me to hit it off with her at first glance? Did he think I’d comfortably settle into her family? Sensing she was unwelcome, Elisheva turned and headed into the safety of her small kitchen, leaving Tatty alone with me. I was able to see her busying herself by puttering around with pots and pans, but doing nothing much in reality. Tatty drew me beside him on the small worn-out sofa.

    “I’m sorry, Daughter,” he apologized, his face thin and drawn. “I guess that was the wrong way to go about it. What I really wanted to tell you was that Elisheva is going to be my new wife.”

    “Why do you need-”

    “Sari, I do,” he interrupted me, his eyes beseeching me to understand. “My days are empty, and I live my life as a drag, waiting for every other weekend. Have you ever thought about what I do when you kids aren’t with me, Sari?”

    “Work,” I answered immediately, knowing with an aching twinge that work wasn’t enough for him. Tatty was a family guy. He thrived on giving to his children and making us feel loved. Twice a month wasn’t time enough to satisfy his thirst for a family of his own, and deep down I knew that.

    “Work is not a fulfilling life, Sari. I hope you’ll understand that when you grow up. A man needs a wife, kids’ youthful voices to fill his home, and people to depend on him. Right now, I’m missing that.” Suddenly, I thought of the obvious question.

    “Does Elisheva have kids?”

    “Two little cuties, and I met them already. I can be their father if they’ll only let me. They had a hard time adjusting to me at first, because it’s only been a year since their Abba passed away of brain cancer.”

    “How old are they?” I asked. Secretly, I hoped there was a baby. Since Shimmy grew from a toddler, I’ve dreamed of cuddling a baby sibling. Never did I imagine it was possible to come true. If Elisheva came along with a baby, it would make it easier for me to accept her into my life.

    “Gavriel is six, a really introvert. He’s into reading and writing and things like that. Not like you, Sari.” I was forced to grin. “But he’s got an energetic side to him, too. He loves cracking jokes and riddles. Shiffy is the little one, she’s almost three. You’ll like her, Sari. She’s a pampered princess, says the most adorable things. She reminds me of you, sometimes.” I felt a pang, realizing that I wouldn’t be Tatty’s only daughter anymore.

    “I’m not ready to meet them,” I said quickly, when I noticed Tatty eyeing the bedroom door, where I could now hear the sounds of children playing.

    “You’re sure?” He seemed disappointed. I shook my head firmly. I’d had too much excitement for one night, and I needed to sleep on all this. Tatty went into the kitchen to say good night to Elisheva and then came back to the living room to take me to the car.

    “Elisheva and her kids are coming next Shabbos, when you’ll be at Mommy’s. So don’t worry, Sari, you’ve got a while to get used to the thought of a stepfamily.”

    “When’s the wedding?” I asked. Tatty seemed to perk up.

    “In a month from Sunday, even though we’ll be ready earlier. We decided to give you kids some time to adjust to each other. I’ll take Michoel and Shimmy to play with the Newmark kids on Sunday afternoon. You’re welcome to join us, Daughter.” I shrugged as we pulled out of the parking lot.

    “I don’t think so,” I finally said.

  • Elisheva Halle

    Member
    September 6, 2020 at 5:19 am

    Loved it, Annagrammer- a very enjoyable read. I don’t have kids that age, so I’m not sure if it is too intense, but I do know that for kids going through this kind of stuff, your book can be very validating for them…maybe submit a few chapters to a publisher and see what they have to say…

  • Fayge Y.

    Member
    September 6, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    So you mean, she doesn’t live with both her parents. You might want to put in that word both.

    • Anagrammer

      Member
      September 6, 2020 at 7:52 pm

      Not sure what you mean by this comment, Fayge… What should I put in where?

    • Anagrammer

      Member
      September 6, 2020 at 7:55 pm

      Oh, I just realized what you meant. I’m sorry it wasn’t clear, but this isn’t the first chapter of the book at all. By now the reader knows that Sari lives with her mother and is by her father every other weekend. Her friend, Libby, knows that, too…. Still has to be clearer?

  • Fiction Fangirl

    Member
    September 6, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    Which age group are you targeting?  In my humble opinion, this isn’t at all heavy, so I don’t think you have to modify the story to cater to a younger audience.  And sorry Fayge- I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you:  I don’t think it’s necessary to directly inform the reader that the protagonist doesn’t live with both parents.  In this scenario, the ‘show don’t tell’ technique worked.  It’s pretty obvious.

    If there is any other critique you’re looking for, let me know.  Overall, your protagonist is believable.  I especially appreciate her ambivalence that is highlighted by her curiosity about Elisheva’s children (especially her secret longing for a baby).  Yet at the same time, she isn’t ready to reconcile with the fact that her father betrayed her in a certain sense.

  • PassionforWriting

    Member
    September 6, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    Oh my gosh!!! Though I’m not a teen (I’m older), I would totally read that story, Anagrammer! It’s so real, poignant, full of depth and something I believe people will be drawn to. I personally enjoy reading such kinds of novels. I relate to the intensity and love the real’ness’ of it.

  • Anagrammer

    Member
    September 6, 2020 at 8:02 pm

    FF, I don’t know which age group I am targeting, which is part of my issue. I am getting the consensus that it would have to be for teens… but when I started writing it, I had in mind readers Sari’s own age (6th grade)…

    Other critique? I’ll take. This is a first draft, raw and unedited, but I appreciate any and all critique!

    Thanks for picking out my favorite aspect of my character’s personality (her ambivalence) 🙂

  • Anagrammer

    Member
    September 6, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    Still not too heavy?

     

    “Sari!” Shimmy ran to greet me when I came home.

    “Hi, Shim.”

    “Can you watch him?” Michoel whined, appearing from the kitchen. “Mommy’s sleeping ‘cuz she said her head’s hurting, and Shimmy’s being bad.”

    “No, I am not!” Shimmy insisted, stamping his foot indignantly. “I’m a good boy!”

    “You’re a very good boy,” I agreed, ruffling his peyos adoringly.

    “Can I go to Fried? Nosson’s there.” Michoel reached for his coat, making his way to the door. I noticed a full plate of chicken and mashed potatoes on the table.

    “Did you eat supper?”

    “Yeah, that’s for you,” Michoel said, following my eyes. “Mommy said you could warm it up in the microwave. So I’m going, ‘kay?” I nodded my consent, and he was off like a rocket. I hoped it was okay with Mommy, but she wasn’t around to give her approval, so she couldn’t blame me for letting him.

    Supper was surprisingly delicious, a pleasant change from the pasta and sandwiches we’d been eating the past few weeks. I wondered how Mommy had gathered the strength to cook such a gourmet meal if she had a migraine.

    “Mrs. Fried brought the supper in a big huge pan,” Shimmy piped up. “It was wrapped in a white and red towel.” Oh, so that explained it. The Frieds were the nicest next-door neighbors. They were a young couple with one baby and were constantly helping Mommy out with whatever she needed. Bringing supper over was just one of the many things they did for us on a constant basis.

    The phone rang, and I jumped to answer it.

    “Hi, Daughter, it’s Tatty.”

    “Hello!” I answered exuberantly. I loved when Tatty called just to schmooze.

    “Is your mother around?” My face fell, and I gripped the phone tighter as I replied.

    “No.” Please don’t ask any questions. I starkly remembered how Tatty used to accuse Mommy for concocting her migraines, claiming she used them to take advantage of him and us to do the chores for her.

    “Oh… um, Sari?” His voice was low, hesitant.

    “Yeah?” I said suspiciously. The next words he said only served to verify and aggravate my suspicions.

    “I know it’s Michoel’s birthday Shabbos and all, but I –”

    “What?!” I spluttered. “You can’t do that to us! You have to have us for Shabbos, you have to! It was one of the divorce terms! It states that you have us every other weekend. And this Shabbos is the other weekend, which means it’s your turn. You have to have us! Michoel will be so disappointed. He was telling his friends all about the huge birthday cake you’re buying him, and I was excited too! I like coming to you for Shabbos, I do! And so does Shimmy! We’re your kids; why can’t you just be a normal father to us?”

    Tatty let out a whoosh. “Oh, I hear you.” I remained silent, too angry to speak. “Okay, Sari. It’ll be hard for me because I made a prior commitment to someone-”

    “What do you mean ‘prior commitment’?” I yelled. “We are your prior commitment.”

    “You’re right, Daughter, I will try my best to work things out.” Tatty sighed and hung up.

    I stared at the phone for a long time. How could he do that to us? Never before had Tatty canceled on our special Shabbosos together. Who could be more important to him than us?

    “Sari,” a small voice whimpered. I looked down to see Shimmy pulling on my skirt, a tortured expression on his innocent little face. “Tatty doesn’t love us anymore?”

    “No, of course he does!” I cried, appalled, scooping my baby brother into a giant hug. “He loves us forever and ever.” I was talking more to myself than to Shimmy.

  • Sherry

    Member
    September 6, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    Anagrammer, this is sooo good!

    You’ve brought this to an admirable level of development, with true depth in your character and story progression. When you have the reader’s emotions, you’re onto a winner!

    What age is 6th grade?

  • Sherry

    Member
    September 6, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    And well done for using dialogue so effectively. Dialogue can be hard to nail, but when done realistically and alluringly (example above ?), there’s nothing like it to get the readers to experience the goings on. It’s by the far the best way to ‘show over tell’.

  • Anagrammer

    Member
    September 6, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    Thanks, Sherry! You have a knack with giving targeted compliments!

    6th grade is around 12 years old.

  • Sherry

    Member
    September 6, 2020 at 11:57 pm

    Then 6th grade sounds alright to me. I can see older kids enjoying it too.

    Kids deal with real life too.

    It’s the type of story that kids will process according to their intelligence / experience. If it’s too deep or whatever for them, it probably won’t percolate in their minds long enough to have any calamitous effect. In fact my younger kids go for the more scary / intense novels that my older ones do. Go figure.

    And if I know my kids well enough 🙂 I see this story being enjoyed by all. It has depth, yes – but that’s what makes it alluring. And it’s not a depressing read at all. It takes talent to take so heavy a topic and relate it in the way you have.

    (As for my comments, I was a high school English teacher in a previous life. 🙂 At least it seems like that to me – it’s like almost twenty years since.)

  • Anagrammer

    Member
    September 7, 2020 at 12:18 am

    K, so you’ve given me a lot to think about…

    I could’ve guessed you were a high school English teacher. You can’t hide it (though there’s no reason you should)! I’m loving it, that’s for sure 😉

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0 of 0 posts June 2018
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RELAX. ENJOY.

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