Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Struggles of Composition

So, now that BookSprouting.com is live, it's time to get some stories posted to jump-start this community. Toward that end I have begun the long, laborious love of composing a book. But let's not call it a book, because it will likely never be published and will probably only be enjoyed by my mother and my not-old-enough-to-be-critical daughter. And then when she is old enough, she'll read it for nostalgic reasons and likely few others. That is, if she can find it.

I think my story, Samuel's Umbrella, will be a short story. Hopefully this stems less from my lack of creativity and more from the fact that I want children to be able to consume it in one or two sittings. And yet I face so many questions that I can, as of yet, not answer. For instance - what age group would be best suited to read this story? Am I using words too advanced for this group? A brief perusal of my first few paragraphs already reveals words like fraught and trekked, but then again there are kids knocking out words at the spelling bee that make me wonder if the competition is in English or Latin. And then I think of how Tolkien intended The Hobbit to be read by young children; I think he expected 5-7 year olds to read it. So, either I'm doing just fine or I'll only be able to market the work to spelling bee participants.

Other issues I'm wondering about (besides the ever-present 'will anybody like it, ever??') are:
  1. Who will illustrate it? (because I will sound its death knell if I do)
  2. Will it appeal to my intended audience? (which raises the aforementioned - who is my intended audience?)
  3. Will it evoke wonder, joy, or admiration? (or the opposite - dread, disdain, and disgust?)
  4. Will it further learning?

The list could go on, but I'll spare you.

Ok, I just had a realization - I'll just upload the story to BookSprouting.com now and then you can go there (here) and tell me what you think. It's obviously unfinished but I'm open game for your collaborative feedback. And I'm not sure of the value of posting it with only a handful of paragraphs complete, but hey, why not?

I look forward to hearing from you!

3 comments:

ipanema said...

I think it would appeal to children. It sounds cute. I like the story line already. :)

Just a thought though. Has it been edited? There are some slips - spelling [pg 4, than--then] and some redundancy.

Good luck!

Ryon said...

Thanks for your feedback, ipanema. No, not edited yet - what you read is the result of me churning it out quickly and just throwing it up online. I'll advance the story line some more next week. My thought was to get the story built and then go back through and give it a good editing.

Do you think that's a good approach?

StoryGirl said...

I love it already.... and I do think your darling daughter will too!

I think it's great that there are now 2 books to read on the site... way to go on getting out there yourself.