Thursday, February 27, 2014
LETTERS TO THE SLUSH PILE #6
I'm writing to you both because although your stories are different (X, yours is a contemporary fantasy featuring trolls, and Y, yours is an epic fantasy with were-foxes) they both have the same problem in common. Both trolls and foxes aren't really trolls or foxes. They're human beings running around in troll and fox suits.
You've both told me an engaging story. I was interested in your plots and the troubles your characters encountered. Your main drawback is you both need to show me how your characters are different from human beings. When I read about dog, cat, dragon, elf, dwarf, or even bug-eyed monster protagonists (or antagonists), I want to have a sense of their dog-ness, cat-ness, dragon-ness, etc., - whatever separates and makes them really different from us. Intrigue me with your insights about their instincts, abilities, talents, understanding of their world - perhaps even their social structures and morality. Do your research. Mine your imagination. Show me something I won't expect or will make me think, 'Yes! That's how they would be.'
You're both good writers. With a little thought, I'm sure you won't this find hard to do.