Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I's confused

So. Now that I'm coming down from my sugar high I can talk seriously. sCKDVOEFHP E$T$ HNqw ddadWEGG WERHGRMF BAD:qepg$w$th????!!!!!! Seriously.

Yeah, I'm still a little hyper. But aaaaaaanyway, I need some advice. I turned in the last two chapters of my book to my critique group. This is a group of ten people, who are pretty good writers and they've given me good, constructive advice so far. We got together Monday night, and they all think that, with the exception of tidying up some unresloved character development, my ending is fine. I think Christy and Jennifer agreed with that as well, but they're also my buds so there might be a slight bias. Ever so slight. I don't think either of them would write the words "huh?!" or "cliche" on my manuscript, however, my critique group HAS written those things. They have no hesistation to level with me.

The main thing they disagree with he agent about is her idea that my two main characters would NOT get expelled from school when their hit list is found. Wait, did I explain that right? The agent doesn't think the girls would be expelled, but me and the rest of my critique group do. I've looked into this. Not only would the principal not want to risk keeping them there, but kids have been expelled for even slight threats lately.

I think what I'm going to do is this...I'm going to give closure to my poor, forgotten characters with their unresolved issues (because this is fiction, where there are answers to problems, resolutions over cocoa, and evil people to blame), and then I'm going to have the girls expelled. Because that's what would happen, especially when the school's lawyer tells them that it would be a liability to keep Judy and Ana (my heroes) around. The lawyer was my writing instructor's idea. With all this legal stuff somehow I forgot to include lawyers. I've thought of a much more powerful last scene, and I'm going to throw that in too. Then I'm going to send it to the agent and ask her what she thinks. If she says, "I love it!" I will pass out from happiness and exhaustion. If she says, "It's great, but we can't have the girls expelled" then I'll probably say, "Ok, I'll change it." Because, in truth, the crux of the novel is not whether or not they get kicked out. It's not even that their hit list is found, and what happens to them as a result. It's that all these kids start at the beginning of the book with wrong ideas of themselves and each other, and at the end they have a clearer view of things.

As long as that doesn't change then I won't have sold out or anything. Not that I might be up for selling out by the time all this shit is about to go to press. If at the last minute an editor says, "How about instead of two high school girls we replace them with two chihuahuas who talk when people aren't around?" then I might say, "Would you like that in Spanish or English?"

So does my plan sound good? Maybe? Gut feeling sound accurate here? Or is there a mostly, "we haven't read your book, please stop asking us" sentiment? O (sniff!) k. All right! All right! I'll stop being melodramatic! We buds? Good. Back to the damned edits (as they will henceforth be known).


christina said...

I think that sounds good. I like the idea of them getting expelled. I think you're right-- it would happen. We're certainly not in an "oh you make a mistake we love you anyway" type of society with this kind of thing anymore.

the lawyer is a good idea. rock on!

Genevieve said...

Rock on, lawyers! Honestly, how did I forget them? It's probably because I've never discussed legal stuff with a lawyer. Trouble with cops? Yes. That's why I could write that dialogue. Thankfully, none of my trouble with the fuzz has ever led to a conversation with lawyers. Thanks for your undying support, Christy.

Libby said...

Your agent clearly hasn't heard of the Zero Tolerance Policies most schools have adopted since the late 90's. Bringing a water gun to school could get you expelled under those terms.

melissa bastian. said...

Assuming that they're in public school, they would ABSOLUTELY get expelled, no question, without a doubt. A girl I went to school with got expelled from the entire county system for having a pager. It's not some sort of rumor; I was there when it beeped in class and was in touch with her later. They've gotten crazy and it only keeps getting worse.

I don't see why their getting expelled should be a deal breaker, as long as it doesn't make things on a tragic, "our lives are over!" kind of note. I'm sure you wouldn't make it like that - more like, wow, we made mistakes and learned things and now we're stronger people, right? Adversity breeds strength. Or something.

If your agent still insists that they wouldn't get expelled for it, why don't you suggest that she do some internet research on the last decade of school shootings and psychoactive drugs for teenagers?

By the bye, I'm officially dying to ready your book.

Oh, and I'm being sexually harassed by the word verification, which is currently asking me to type "bresest". Mmm hmm. I believe I'll be contacting the authorities.

Ray said...

I think they should get expelled!
But then they should get full scholarships to Berkely or USC or something, where they thrive on anti-establishmentarianism and stuff.

PS--I still need your signature on the contract for the cover art for your book... ;)

Genevieve said...

Thanks, guys. And Mel it makes me giddy to hear things like "I can't wait to read your book." Now I just hope that I deliver. Ray, waitin' for the book deal man. Waiting with fingers and toes crossed!