The Hunt for Elsewhere: Progress Report

23 Aug

I have made it to chapter twenty of The Hunt for Elsewhere. This means I am getting close to the finish line. I have the end of ACT II and ACT III to go. Thank goodness. I made it through the morass that is the second act.

For the moment I would like to express some concerns. The story is the way I want it to be, but I have strong misgivings as to whether or not anyone would actually be interested in reading it. My reasons for these concerns are three-fold:

1.) My characters are animals. Aside from children, do any young adults or adults read stories about animals anymore? I’m a little scared I’ve chosen an outdated type of storytelling, and if not, that this method is stereotyped as not serious reading. The only young adult to adult readers I can imagine being remotely interested are those who are into anthro or furry, which, unfortunately, carries some negative connotations. Mind, I don’t care if someone identifies as a furry or not, but I am concerned about the consequential public perception of the book.

2.) The animals and the situations they find themselves in are an allegory for human nature and human society. I’m very self-conscious that my… ‘commentary’ on religion, politics and relationships might be too on-the-nose. I consulted my significant other about this, and he assured me that a classic like Animal Farm was very much on-the-nose as a commentary on communism. Nevertheless, I don’t want this story to be preachy so much as I want it to be honest.

3.) Tone. I try to shift between humor and drama, but I wonder if the shifts are too drastic. I don’t want the reader to be thinking: What am I reading? Is this supposed to be a Disney movie or something like Watership Down?

I am pleased, however, with my characterizations and the budding friendship my two main characters share. I know I will go back for revisions, but I think my characters are being sculpted as I had envisioned them before I began writing. I think this is the one aspect of my novel that is strong. Not perfect, but strong.

As for the quality of prose, it vascilitates from methodical to just right to melodramatic (or ‘flowery’).  Again, this is what revisions are for. I’m wondering if I should have someone read my first draft raw before I reread my work and make preliminary revisions. There are pros and cons to both methods, and I am undecided.

Just recently, I needed to go back to something relatively easy, so I finally wrote another chapter to the fanfic, Two Stools. As usual, I felt incredibly guilty afterwards (like an addict that needed one more hit), but it was very nice to write something without worrying about the details and quality. Too bad that the fandom is dying out. I don’t think I have many readers. Oh, well. At least, its a calming exercise.

Comments or thoughts from anyone are appreciated.


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3 responses to “The Hunt for Elsewhere: Progress Report

  1. jaydenwoods

    August 29, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Well you know I’m happy to read it once you’re ready for feedback.

    As for some general advice, I think you should focus on why people *should* read your work more than why they shouldn’t. I think people can come up with a hundred reasons NOT to read something. But more importantly, why should they?

    • bettyvine

      August 31, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      Hey, Jayden!

      It’s great to hear from you. I took your advice to heart and wrote down reasons my novel should be read. You make a very good point: explaining why is a lot harder than explaining why not!

      I’m posting the list of “whys” in my next blog entry. Thanks for the tip!

      Also, should I revise my first draft first or give it to a reader for review raw? This is something I’m really torn about.

  2. Nathan

    October 14, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Hey–I know this isn’t a direct reply to this post, but I’m in the middle of my Facebook fast, and I wanted to share something with you.

    25 Insights on becoming a better writer. It’s from this blog I frequent, the 99 percent. Anyway, since writing is such a deep passion for you, I thought of you when I saw it.


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