Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Two Cents of Jones on the Interquel

As I already had reported in this post, Andrea Jones (author of Hook & Jill) loved what she had read so far of my interquel, Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between.  [If you're not familiar with the details of this book or want a recap, click here.]

I’m happy to now report that upon having finished reading, her appreciation of it has only increased. During our “playdate” this past weekend, she congratulated me on how I’d successfully created the transition from the baby Peter to the boy Pan. I’m relieved, to be honest. I knew Andrea would have not only a great critical eye, but an invested interest in keeping it in tune with Barrie.

What fun to see her smile when she pointed out her favorite bits (both humorous and solemn) as she went over her notes. How gratifying to know that my ideas had merit, that the ways in which I’d solved the inherent dilemmas proved to be not just viable, but satisfying. I did have to clarify one part, but only for Andrea’s sake at the moment. Within the story itself, it's meant to be like the charmingly ambiguous specificities so deliciously typical of Barrie.

The part of my story which I had been most worried about - for I thought it might be construed as too outlandish - she liked very much. Quite the opposite of my fear, Andrea thinks it’s “very Barrie.” I suppose it is, since the primary idea for it grew out of something he wrote anyway. And thinking on it further what happens ‘there’ is not unlike shenanigans he might have had with the Llewelyn Davies boys in the Gardens. Hosah.
Official Cover of the Novel

Perhaps you recall I’d been struck with an idea for another bit to add to the end. I had meant it to strengthen an idea/theme and create another tie-in to Peter and Wendy. I had sent Anon* the new section (along with the entire last chapter) and had hoped to hear it worked. The truth is Anon didn’t notice the new part at all - which I took to mean that it fit well. Andrea’s copy of the book did not include this new paragraph, so I read it to her. She looked pensive for a small while and then replied that I didn’t need it. It lacked an impact or reason for being there. She went on to say that the ending to the novel is perfect just as it is and she didn’t want to see me ruin it. Imagine that! Both Anon and Andrea think the ending is marvelous. Just what an author wants to hear!

Don’t think, however, that all of her comments had been glowing. She did have an issue here or there - such as the amount of characters introduced all at one time. It seemed overwhelming and confusing, so she suggests that I spread out the introductions across the story. I concur. A good observation and one with an easy enough fix, which will not just alleviate the problem at hand but allow for better pacing and discovery (as to what the characters' functions are) throughout. I welcomed each of her critiques. I’ve already attended to one of them. It seems I abused the word ‘quite’ rather heavily. So I examined each one and decided if it had been necessary. For I could not banish it altogether as Peter Pan might, since in some cases no other word will do. Plus, it does appear frequently in Barrie’s works. But she’d been (ahem!) quite right. I managed to eliminate two-thirds of the offending word.
 1st draft of the Tagline design

To finish up, Andrea wants to see Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between published. She thinks highly enough of it that it should be included among the tales of the eternal youth. I accomplished what I set out to do. I’ve filled in the missing pieces to the puzzle of Peter Pan’s past with the flair of Barrie. Andrea’s summation in one line, as if it were her blurb on the back cover - Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between is bright and shiny like a new…tuppence.

So I will work on the revisions... and I suppose the fate of this novel has been decided. Eventually I will get it “out there” so that others may enjoy it, too.

And please don’t take any of this post as self-congratulatory. I’m thrilled that Anon and Andrea like what I have done. I’m just as amazed that it’s well received as they are with how I worked it all out.

* Barrie enthusiast and my faithful reader and #1 fan


Anon said...

Congratulations! XD I knew that she'd like it overall (even with the odd critique)!

While I don't know that I'm as against the new part in the last chapter as Andrea apparently was, it clearly didn't make enough of an impact upon me to stand out as "perfect", not to mention the fact that it's been a LONG time since I've read the whole book cover to cover, so if I'd done that before I read the last chapter with the new part, who knows? I might have ended up agreeing with her--or maybe not, I don't know. Anyway, I trust her to know what works for a new reader and what doesn't. :)

Her criticisms sound like good ones to me--as she does and as you do, I want this to be the best it can possibly be! ^_^ And like Andrea, I want to see it published too, so I can have my own copy--then the "four-part trilogy" of Peter Pan will be complete! XD And all that will be left will be your impending NeverWorld sequels, which I'm also awaiting with eager anticipation! :D

Anon said...

I wonder if that part might "belong" better somewhere else in the book, other than the last chapter? I don't know, it's been awhile....

Peter Von Brown said...

Not that I can readily see. It had been designed as a function of the end. But I'll keep it in mind just in case.

Princessa.Maria said...

eeeek. Sorry can't help but get excited. Do you have any idea where someone in Canada could purchase your books? I've been looking around online practically forever.

Peter Von Brown said...


Thanks for the enthusiasm. I just doubled checked. You should be able to order Peter Pan's NeverWorld on the site. If you can't for some reason let me know, and I'll see what I can do. :)
Thanks for reading!