Wednesday, October 21, 2009

SLOUCHING TOWARD THANKSGIVING: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Hi Meg -

Elana Roth from the Caren Johnson Literary Agency spoke recently at our SCBWI meeting, and she said this about pacing: “There must always be something next to keep the action going.” In this chapter Alexie sows the seed for a possible friendship with Gordy. When Junior gets home, there is a “something next”—in this case he learns that his sister is getting married. Then there is “something next”—it is the following day in school and Junior actively pursues and begins to develop the friendship foreshadowed several pages earlier. The final “something next” comes at the end of the chapter when we learn that in the end, the friendship was a successful one: “and he certainly helped me through school. He not only tutored me and challenged me, but he made me realize that hard work…is joyous.”

Story Sleuths Tip #9: Promise your readers “something next” to keep the action going.

-- Allyson