Saturday, January 20, 2007

Fiction First Aid

Today I printed a copy of E, the manuscript due to Candlewick on March 1.

I'm going to hand it off for GLS to read this weekend and once again begin flipping through Fiction First Aid: Instant Remedies for Novels by Raymond Obstfeld (Writer's Digest, 2001). It's an excellent resource for revision; great for both global rewrites and spot fixing.

I want to take a look at the sections on "overly evil antagonist" and "inaccurate gender-specific details."

I'm guessing the answer to the former is to further ground my big baddie, offer a less stereotyped personality, though my archetypal treatment is intentional. On the latter, this will be my first novel at least partially written from a male POV, so I'm feeling a tad nervous.

That said, I have published two previous short stories written in a first person, male voice: "A Real-Live Blond Cherokee and His Equally Annoyed Soul Mate" from Moccasin Thunder: American Indian Stories for Today, compiled by Lori M. Carlson (HarperCollins, 2005)(interview) and "Riding with Rosa" from Cicada literary magazine (Vol. 7, No. 4, March/April 2005).

Short story writing for me has always been a venue for growth and experimentation, but sustaining convincing cross-gender voice over the course of a novel is a bigger beast.