editor number 1

Posted at May 14, 2007 6:09 pm

Well- the first YA editor got back to my agent. This is what she wrote:
Thanks for being patient while I gathered my thoughts together on this intriguing project.  Even though I’ve never read a Sherlock Holmes book, I was charmed by the style of writing. Both as a pastiche and as historical fiction, this text is a pleasure to read.  But I don’t think this would have enough young adult appeal as it is right now.  It almost seems to be written as an adult book. I wished Dora were more assertive, more active, perhaps edgier for her time period.  We don’t really get to know her very well, and for YA appeal, I think we’d have to have a better sense of her.  The voices for Watson and Dora’s sections aren’t easily distinguished from one another.  And I wondered if the mystery aspect could be more exciting, perhaps in terms of getting to see more of Dora working in the house and being more active in her investigation, perhaps in terms of the mystery itself.   If the author were interested in revising to highlight Dora (and the young adult aspect) more, I would be happy to see this again

  I am very optimistic- I plan to start the revisions this week- I already have ideas how to make it work better for a YA audience. I entirely agree with her comments. The more assertive part I think I will ignore but she could have a stronger narrative voice which will serve just as well. I think it is a little premature for Dora to be Miss Assertive and I don’t want to create a Disney character. Without changing her at all though i can bring her character out more- let the reader know more about her past etc. Also I have thought of a new twist that i will insert in the middle-
Anyway- I think this is not bad for a first editor response. Even if doesn’t lead to an offer I am encouraged.

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