Re: Eden's Winter by Marie de Merle

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Posted by The Publisher on September 09, 2000 at 16:51:16:

In Reply to: Re: Eden's Winter by Marie de Merle posted by Chris on September 09, 2000 at 16:35:20:

: : Marie de Merle

: Dear Marie,

: I read the first chapter of Eden's Winter and would like to comment. First, my disclaimer: the book is yours and you must always be true to your concept of how the story should be told. I am just one voice with one opinion.

: The genre sounded interesting to me, but the synopsis made me wonder who the target audience was. It sounded like it was geared to teenage girls, as a coming of age story, but this is not what I found when I read chapter one.

: In class, I have been taught that in chapter one, the writer should introduce the main characters and set up the conflict that will propel the reader through the book. I did not find that in this book. I found myself wading through eons of flowery description and unable to find the action. I kept having to go back to Martine and rereading what she was actually doing to be able to follow the story. I think description should hang on the story, not the other way around, which is what I was feeling here.

: In the end, not sure of where the story was going, and becoming lost in all the description and bored with the lack of action, I decided not to read chapter two. I will readily admit, I may have made too hasty a judgement. I have a notoriously short attention span, and so what I saw as fault, most readers may appreciate.

: I do enjoy reading historical fiction/historical romance, so I am anxious to hear what the others have to say. I may be convinced I need to go back and give it another chance.

: Chris

Dear Chris,
Thanks for your frank comments, though naturally you and I are quite apart. But this is the nature of literature. For example, just to give a fairly contemporary example, GLITZ, a novel by Elmore Leonard, was turned down well over 100 times by different editors/publishers 'til it found the one right editor and then made it into bestsellerdom and films.
I was about to recommend that you return one more time to re-read the opening, but then... well, you see, the conflict/issue is right there, in the opening, and although Marie herself has thought of dropping some of the descriptions and speeding up the action, I remained quiet in this issue because her novel is literature and not necessarily action/adventure.
I shall reserve further comment as I await more posts from the board members.
On the other hand, to be fair to a fellow LOTMer, perhaps you ought to return and read Chapter Two as well?

The Publisher

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