All of my pathetic and inane fears about my manuscript being a mess were for not. Just three days after submitting the latest version of UNEXPECTEDLY, MILO to my editor for review, she replied with glowing remarks, several bright and shiny compliments and just a handful of minor, consistency-centered suggestions for revision.
The six weeks of torturous editing and revising have apparently paid off.
I’m currently in the process of completing a final read-through of the book before sending the manuscript back off to Melissa, who will review it one final time as well before initiating the copyediting process.
At that point, things really begin to get rolling, and I can turn my attention back to THE CHICKEN SHACK.
One disappointment, however. In reviewing the manuscript, Melissa noticed that I lumped in THE UGLY DUCKLING with the tales of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Dumbo, citing all three as stories in which the protagonist learns to appreciate and celebrate his oddities and differences. Melissa pointed out that THE UGLY DUCKLING is actually a story about conformity, a process that I very much despise. And she’s right. In the end of the story, the ugly duckling transforms into a swan, thus unburdening itself of its problems through a blending in with those around him.
Through that awful and pervasive process of conformity. No celebration of differences here. No glorious victory of the strange over the common. No big-eared, red-nosed act of heroism. Just a swan who finds happiness by emulating others, and through no real effort of his own.
I found this utterly depressing. This classic children’s tale is nothing more than a treatise on the conformity of appearance and breeding.
Nevertheless, I am pleased. UNEXPECTEDLY, MILO is nearly done, and I am happy with the results. And all references to that dreadful ugly duckling have been removed.