Summer 08 Rewrite Comments Page

A few select readers have been asked to read the final version of the book. This is your page, readers, for comments and any proofing you’d like to do.

3 Comments on “Summer 08 Rewrite Comments Page”

  1. thisberobison Says:

    My FIRST comment. “His head just seemed to swell from his bulky shoulders like a huge pimple” & “Her immense girth filled it so completely every fold and ripple of her ample body was outlined for a defenseless world to see” – great descriptions – disturbingly vivid. Just a few paragraphs later you say “the tune was just as awful as the words” – I’d love to see that fleshed out a bit. (How awful?!)

  2. nofranson Says:

    Just finished reading this version–I read quickly to get a sense of flow and overall storytelling. I didn’t stop for any glitchy grammatical stuff. I assumed that’s what you’re paying your editor the big bucks to do–although I couldn’t help but note that sometimes Ichabod is spelled with an “h,” and sometimes not.

    In general, this flows more tightly than the earlier version I read. I like the story breaking where it does–loss and devastation followed by a glimmer of hope– Trevor learning that he fulfills prophecy. You’ve got some marvelous descriptive sections and some fast-paced action that I think will appeal to teenaged boys.

    You’ve referred to this as your final rewrite, yet I have a couple of thoughts–sorry, but you did ask! I’m not getting the significance of the flies buzzing around Lucian. Also, I understand the fearfulness of Maggie’s mother, having lost her husband in earlier battles, but she seems to have a deeper level of melancholy that isn’t fully fleshed out. Does her character come into play again in Maggie’s life, or do we assume she’s just going to keep to her room in a funk Maggie wants to go on adventures (and not make dresses)?

    Banquet scene–when Maggie tells her story. You’ve introduced the idea that there are shifts in perspective and storytelling due to the fruit, yet I stumbled over where Maggie’s story actually began–top of p. 133. Could you add something to the effect: “…it was done so seamlessly and effortlessly that the shifts in perspective were hardly noticeable.”, by adding something like: Her story began thus, or Trevor began to see her memories unfold…

    Chapter 10–How did the Santa section go over with your classroom reads? I wasn’t crazy about it the first time through, and yet how much more wicked and despicable could one be than to use Santa for evil, manipulative purposes? I think I’d be more comfortable if the exchange between Lucian and Gourmand about borrowing the fable from their home world was used to introduce why this character shows up at this point. This may just be personal preference on my part, because I love Santa more than most people. Yes, my modifier is intentionally vague.

    I commented on your opening elsewhere on the blog. I think either works, but I prefer option “A.”

    Ending–I like the way it ends, except that I groaned at the very last sentence. Please don’t tell me that Epictetus had died. I think it would be more powerful to let your readers hear this great man go silent, coughing and gathering his strength to utter his final words of promise and hope. Trevor could then either ask his question in the silence that follows or not.

    So, are you trying now to figure out if this WordPress thingy has a way to block me from making further comments?

  3. Mortimus Says:


    Thanks for the feedback — it’s good, as usual.

    Concerning the matter of the final re-write, I intended by that statement to mean that I’m not doing any major revisions. I’m happy with the story. But the things you’ve pointed out aren’t major (except Santa) and I’m considering them. I’m particularly intrigued by the observation about Epictetus’ death pronouncement. I’m inclinded to agree with you. I guess the reason I made it explicit is because I don’t want people thinking that he’s coming back like Gandalf, inter alia. He’s not coming back. He is truly dead. Nevertheless, maybe I can use the vagueness and the hope of his return to further other plot twists.

    Concerning Santa, I like that section just as it is. The fact that it is unexplained adds to the creepiness — something I was looking for. Explaining it robs it of its power.

    I can also clear up the confusion on Maggie’s memories without much trouble.

    Thanks for the input. And I’m leaning toward “A” too.


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