Sunday, June 23, 2002
Feedback on Arena01.rtf
My small captive audience of "first listeners" experienced the first scene of chapter 1 today. David laughed in the right places. I marked down places where he got a puzzled look on his face trying to follow, and any places where both he and Jenny were not sure who was speaking to whom. We also have our usual problem of people assuming that the children of lovers (e.g. Ayrium, Lixe, Dorn) must be mutual. That's the tougher one. I don't think we can avoid saying something short and blatant to clarify that. I expect it will be something we will have to do in every book, rather like the formula Applegate uses in Animorphs to fill in the needful each book. I have a suspition it was an editor, at some point, who made Rowling do likewise in the Harry Potter books. Both series, of course, being ones I am regularly immersed in due to my children's obsessions. :-) Some good narrative tricks to be gained through that. Just like I mentioned to you on the phone, once, how I was in awe of the tight plotting in the Little Mermaid, after seeing it for the millionth time. Every scene has a distinct purpose that moves the story forward, sets up the next complication and does character development at the same time.

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