I recently received some feedback from a publisher on the Madcap Library stories, and I wanted to put a bit of my reaction here.
I admit, it wasn’t nice feedback – actually, that’s unfair. It was very constructive, and it did have a lot of good points, but it was quite hard to read. The jist is that I need to work on my plots; I need simpler storylines; there are too many characters; the Library’s quite hard to understand; and none of the stories are really suitable for conversion to a picture book or for younger readers – all of which is quite true. Once I’d got past my automatic angry defence of my writing, I was able to admit that the feedback was right – and write a very nice thank-you letter to the lady who took time to give me her thoughts!
However, the problem is that I’ve known all of the above for a little while, and simply haven’t had the time – or brainspace – to rewrite. I was also recently given some ideas on Sloth stories by the wonderful Sir Sam, and although they all spark something, I just haven’t been able to get the words out. It’s as if there’s a block in my head preventing anything from being translated onto the page.
So, essentially, I’m taking a break from Madcap Library. I want – and need! – to rewrite old stories and write new stories. For the moment, there’s so much going on that, for a variety of reasons, I simply can’t do that. It’s frustrating as I want to spend time on it, but I think I need to formally shelve it for the sake of my sanity until – well, likely Christmas, I suspect.
I’ll still continue with other work; I’ve got to work out what I want to write for Nano 2014 (probably Heights & Horizons) and I also still have Desert Sands going round in my head. But the Sloth on rollerblades has temporarily been halted.