Now, here's why I'm telling you about Mr. Lenny Lee. He did such a fine job of critiquing Sharon's book that, after fighting a major Shy Attack, I finally worked up the nerve to ask him if he would consder critiquing my picture book, Tangles of Fun. Lemme' tell you, I fretted so much over what his reaction would be. You see, Lenny is among the greats. Knowing what an amazing writer he is, I was sure that he was too busy to help me. But I was wrong. In fact, Lenny was very gracious in accepting my request.
Naturally, after sending him my story (am I the only one who feels that my baby has left the nest when it leaves my possession?), I again began to fret. When I received Lenny's reply, I had drug my trusty computer into the closet an' the 'puter an' I were sharing a moment, you might say. I do not handle stress an' fretting very well. *grin*
I needn't have worried, though. Lenny was very thorough an' very kind in his critique. I won't include alla' Lenny's comments, but lemme' share with you summa' the things he said:
Tangles of Fun : critiqued for miss yaya by lenny lee
what i like
1. the title is real good and catchy.
2. its a really cute story – following (it) til you find whats at the other end is neat and exciting
2. repeating words for the search is good
3. including dad, the puppy and a the boy so its got more characters but not saying so much about them so finding what’s at the end of (it) is what keeps the story going.
4. this could be real cool for a rhyming poem to. it could be a little hard to do that
5. its real good for bright colored pictures
stuff i didnt like so much
1. it doesn’t read smooth.
2. its kinda choppy and a little hard for reading out loud
what i think could make it better
1. its got some words and phrases that could come out mostly at the start of sentences like “in the beginning” “so” “then” “finally” “suddenly” cause they sorta slow the story down
2. some of it could be pulled in together into just one sentence so it could be more smoother
3. i could like a little twist of words at the end
(I left summa' the critique out on accounta' it would give the story away)
(Here, Lenny wrote an example of how I could adjust the story, finishing with the following comment)
Read it out loud and you could see how taking out some stuff gets it reading lots more smooth
I am working on my book, using Lenny's suggestions. He's right; trying to rhyme the words is very difficult. The thing is, the idea of rhyming it is a really good idea, so I'll keep working at it.
Now, this is where you come in. If you're still reading, it's because you know what a great guy Lenny is. If I could, I would send Lenny buckets an' buckets of books an' fun things. As I'm sure alla' you unnerstan', though, many things contribute to my inability to shower Lenny with the gifts he so much deserves. So I'd like to ask your help.
Today is December 5th. We have jus' 20 day's 'til Christmas. With your help, I think we can spread the word about what a great writer an' critique partner Lenny Lee is. There are lotsa' people who haven't met Lenny, yet an' I'd like to introduce him to as many people in the blogging world as I can. Will you help me? If you think it would help, you are welcome to link to this post on your blog or in your comments. If you don't wanna' do that, please tell as many people as you can about Lenny's awesome blog.