Thursday, July 14, 2011

The obvious next step


A thought has been niggling at me for a very long time with regards to my middle grade novel. And I am finally surrendering to its rightness.

You see, the book takes place in Malaysia. But as I have been primarily targeting American audiences, I've written it using American English instead of the way English would be spoken in Malaysia. I've also made sure that I explained, subtly, of course, cultural etiquettes and norms.

But for a while now, I've been thinking that I need to write a version of it that targets Asian audience. Several things have happened recently, including being shortlisted for the Scholastic Asian Book Award and talking to some authors I met at the Asian Festival of Chilldren's Content, that have convinced me that it is an excellent idea.

Except now I am pushing through my YA novel, trying to get a first draft finished before too long and the mere thought of going back to a work I had revised about 1700 times just makes me reach for the closest bar of chocolate.

But I know it has to be done. I just need to prioritize and be more organized about my time. My forte. Right.

*Heads to pantry to secret stash of chocolate*


9 comments:

tanita davis said...

Oh, boy.
I look forward to seeing how you manage this. Will your audience remain the same? (Will your writing group still be of assistance to you in reading? Or, is there something we have been missing all along that we will continue to miss?)

C. N. Nevets said...

I'd love to read the one for Asian audiences myself, but that's just how I am. lol

Yat-Yee said...

Tanita: I don't think it's anything that y'all have missed. The change has to do with what my audience knows and how to tell the story to them in their language, literally and figuratively. Eg. in Malaysian English, Edie won't sound at all like "itty" and so she needs a new nickname. I'd insert more Malay and Chinese phrases that everyone says all the time in the dialogue. Also, things like Bumiputra privileges won't have to be explained. So on.

Nevets: hope you won't be sorry when I ask you to read it when it's done.

C. N. Nevets said...

Bu dan xin.

Laurel Garver said...

The potential Asian audience is huge, so I can see a definite plus in tweaking toward it.

But I know what you mean about scheduling. I'm redoing a query and working on a manuscript I started two summers ago and researching shiny new idea that has likely more marketability.
Where to put the effort? I feel like I'm getting nowhere fast with any of the projects. For now today it's the query that's the priority. You might have to take it a day at a time. Work on one book till you hit a wall, then switch off.

storyqueen said...

Congratulations on your short-listing!

Excellent idea on the revise...but, YES, I totally understand the resistance to going back in.

More chocolate, I say!

Shelley

Yat-Yee said...

Laurel: I really don't like having too many things going on at once. Even having the kids at home for summer has impacted my effectiveness, in everything. But you're right, there are ways to deal with all the different tasks.

Shelley: I am glad you agree with me about the chocolate!

Irene Latham said...

Yat-Yee, I love the decision you've made about the voice of your mg book! Write it, girlfriend! And congrats o the shortlist. That is AWESOME.

Yat-Yee said...

Thanks for you encouragement, Irene!