Two items of note appeared in the September 2009 issue of Writer’s Chronicle: (Moderately stale news, I admit)
• WC cited the Boston Globe report on area educators’ reading lists for the new year. Boston educators, in revamping high school summer reading lists, are including contemporary authors such as John Gresham and Dan Brown. Sigh…the rich are about to get richer. The idea here is simply to get the kids reading.
• In a New York Times report cited by WC, a Federal Department of Education survey indicates that middle schoolers’ achievements in arts-related skills is “mediocre.” In its details, the report indicates little interest in the arts. So, writers, here’s the gauntlet throw-down: write for older audiences, or write something so compelling that even middle schoolers can’t resist it.
One More Thing
I’ve spent some three months re-editing a novel manuscript written and classroom-critiqued, circa 2001-2003. Two things of note rose to the surface from this edit:
• I have (had) a tendency to include too much detail, particularly in my narrative sections. Now, these passages are more like an artist’s sketches, showing only the “lines” that need to be there to reveal the “picture.” It’s a balancing act to make such passages act less like dead data and more like living prose, a balance between the sensibilities of poetry and today’s urge to non-fiction.
• On the plus side, I had little to change structurally with the manuscript. A self-pat on the back for at least getting the overarching story right.