Saturday, March 04, 2006


Heard from my editor yesterday on the Voice of Crow proposal. Let's just say (blowing on fingertips like they were smoking guns) exclamation points were involved.

She did make two comments that were very helpful:
  • Too much backstory in the first chapter
  • Don't forget who the main character is
It'll take me a few tries to find the right balance between bewildering new readers by including not enough backstory, and boring, well, everyone else, and probably new readers, too, by including too much backstory.

The challenge is, I have to recreate a whole fantasy world and review the events of Eyes of Crow, all while keeping up with the current action. Events occur quickly at the beginning of VOC (why wait to start tormenting my characters?), and too much backstory can slow things down. On the other hand, readers need to feel oriented before they can buy into the story.

For that reason, I've set aside several readers to read Voice who haven't read Eyes first. (I haven't literally set them aside; they can lead their lives more or less freely until September.) That way, I can tell where I've screwed up, sequel-wise.

As for my editor's second point: I've introduced a few new characters, one of which has his own POV. It'd be easy to focus on the new guy and his issues, but I need to keep the main focus on Rhia, since she is, after all, the Voice of Crow. Everyone else's plot needs to contribute to hers. That's why they call them "subplots."

Anyway, it's nice to get positive feedback from an editor. She even said, 'This book seems like it will be just as powerful as Eyes of Crow."

Which is totally cool, because I didn't even know she thought EOC was powerful. I mean, she said she enjoyed it, but editors pretty much have to say that to keep authors from jumping off bridges before the final manuscript is in.



Super sweet, Jer.

Posted by: Blogger Rob S. at 3/05/2006 4:11 PM

Jeri. Jeri. Jeri.

What do you NOT listen to your readers when they tell you something is powerful? I know weren't not editors but...YEESH already!


love ya~


Posted by: Blogger moonhart at 3/06/2006 4:49 PM

Awww, thanks, Terri. My readers are my lifesavers!

What I meant was that I didn't have a good sense of my editor's level of enthusiasm for it. I guess I was hoping she would do cartwheels, and when she didn't, I worried that it wasn't up to par in her eyes. But some people are more effusive than others, and I'm learning that she's basically Medium Effusive. She's neither Simon nor Paula, which would make her...the other guy (I've never seen American Idol).

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 3/06/2006 5:04 PM

Post a Comment


This Side of Salvation

This Side of Salvation, Jeri's new contemporary YA novel!

Now available in hardcover and ebook.

“A smart, well-rounded, and unpredictable tale...bringing to light issues of belief versus free will, spirit versus body, and family versus self.” —Booklist, **Starred Review**


Order from Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, or



"Shattered," a Shade novella!

Available here on this website as a free download in all major ebook formats, as well as a printable PDF (now with photos!).

More about "Shattered"

About the author

Jeri Smith-Ready

Jeri Smith-Ready is a Maryland author of books for teens and adults.

Learn more about Jeri...

Photo © Geoffrey C. Baker

Sign up for Jeri's newsletter

  • First draft of secret new project

Current Reads