creative control or commercially viable; the novel

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Walking the skitzoid line of being absolutely mopey due to son's looming departure, and still being fully involved in the read, and re-read editing process of his novel.

This is no small undertaking.

Especially walking the tight rope of critic/mom. That is a tough one. But early on Daniel made it very clear that he wanted to write the story on his terms and not have it hacked apart by editors for the sake of making it commercially palatable (this coming from someone who wrote a monthly column for five years). It is a luxury that he has, being only 18 and not needing to rely on potential sales to pay the bills (although it would be nice to pay for college!). At any rate I am compelled to allow him this creative freedom. The other reality will come soon enough. The book is long and chock full of religious, historical and political metaphor that can be lost on the reader. It is also very distopian. And to top that off it gets explicit in ways that could make a christian mother blush.

But it makes a statement.

The story takes the reader into a world where there is a huge disparity between the institution of church, and actual faith. Very much like Dune creates a fictional world that critiques the ongoing struggle for oil couched in religious and political freedom via future-fictional parallels. There are many layers that don't necessarily give it a stable hook into a given genre. Ok, it is science-fiction/fantasy for sure, but there are many metaphorical references to the historical journey of the church that will be lost on a reader unless they are "churched". And even then most "churched" may not get it because the church (today's) doesn't teach its own history. And the irony is that it would never pass the filters of "christian" publishing. Too many bold statements made using imagery that would make a "christian" reader feel like it was crossing the line of appropriate moral reading.

I am having to refrain from doing my business thang and analyzing it in the context of "what might sell". A quick weekend read, it is not. And for the sake of literary integrity he has pretty much painted himself into a narrow market corner.

So as a mom, what do I encourage? Boil it down for the mass-appeal, or leave it as-is and see what happens?

Not to say that editing for quality and readability was sacrificed. I began reading his third draft last night and the fine tuning is down to picking out extra words, and basic typing glitches. It goes out to a handful of test readers this week. Christian, non-christian, different ages and lifestyles. It will be interesting to see the feedback.

preliminary cover design for Children of Falin


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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Blair published on August 17, 2006 9:30 AM.

in denial, reality dawning was the previous entry in this blog.

acceptable loss (or; i get angry when I watch the news) is the next entry in this blog.

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