I promised to keep my readers updated on progress in the production of Benny's Angel. The copy editing phase is drawing to a close and conceptual editing is scheduled to begin in February.
In advance of that, Tate Publishing recently sent me a questionnaire. Why did they send it? This is my first experience in having a book published and what I am about to say is purely my assumption. I would think it is intended to help me assess my goals for the book and assist the editor in evaluating whether I am accomplishing those goals.
The questionnaire asked what reaction I would like readers of the book to have. Although the book is for young children, my primary goal is to inspire them and point them towards a close relationship with God. At the same time, I want the story line and characters to entertain them, hold their interest, and leave them anxious to read the next book, on which I am currently working.
Tate Publishing also asked me to identify one strength and one weakness in my writing. This was more difficult because it is so subjective. I believe my writing has improved considerably in recent years, as it should have, with practice. For one thing, I am more skilled and persistent in self-editing. As to a weakness, I still have to work hard at showing instead of merely telling. A recent lesson in my Christian Writers Guild course pushed me way beyond my comfort zone, helping me to make progress in this area.
As I worked through the questionnaire, I explained the story line, identifying the protagonist and antagonist. I described the conflict in the story and how it is resolved by the protagonist. It would seem that the conceptual editor needs to "get into my head" and see whether I am achieving the vision I have for Benny's Angel. Identifying exactly what I am attempting to convey and what I intend the young readers to take away from my book intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually will help ensure that the story has no gaps and that it flows smoothly towards its conclusion.
Fulfilling my original vision is extremely important to me, because I believe the seed for this book was planted in my imagination by my heavenly Father, as I sat in my secret garden last summer. He has been with me this far and I am confident He will continue to give me His grace as I move closer to the actual printing of Benny's Angel.