Alligator Tears by N.J. Kailhofer


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Post August 09, 2005, 09:33:15 AM

Re: Alligator Tears by N.J. Kailhofer

...I would have liked a little more description of everything, though perhaps the lack of description reflects the fairy tale like style...
<br><br>Bwahahahaha! What goes around comes around, eh, Nate?<br><br>One thing I didn't mention or change is: aside from the aural factor ('daffodil' is a funny-sounding word), why did you choose a daffodil as Gator's best friend? Do daffodils even grow in swamps? Huh? Huh? Do they?<br><br>Sohrab, if you read the story again, you will see that Tom was both ambitious and not overly bright. He thought that Daffodil's knowledge of Gator's secret gave Daffodil power over Gator, and coveted that power. Once he knew the secret, he ate Daffodil to eliminate the competition. He thought Gator would then be his puppet and he would be de facto King of the Swamp. He also thought that the Iraqi people would greet him with flowers ... oops, how did that get in there?<br><br>As for why fish swim in schools -- everybody knows that you should never swim alone. Er -- would you believe that traveling in groups selects for the strongest/smartest individuals to survive when predators attack? Or would you prefer to go with the Intelligent Design version, which probably states that God likes a good floor show (or swamp show, in this case) with Busby Berkeley-style group choreography?<br><br>Robert 'Gotta start getting more sleep' M.<br><br><br>
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Post August 09, 2005, 08:04:25 PM

Re: Alligator Tears by N.J. Kailhofer

I'm not going to comment on much just yet, because I don't want to prejudice anybody's opinion. I will say, however, that no children's publisher would touch this with a ten foot pole.<br><br>Paraphrasing, of course:<br>"Did you see how one of your characters dies?? EEW! We can't show that to kids! Get out of here before I pepper spray you and your vile manuscript before setting it on fire for good measure!"<br><br>Besides, the children's market is a lot more competitive than you may think...<br><br>Nate
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Post August 11, 2005, 07:28:11 PM

Re: Alligator Tears by N.J. Kailhofer

Does anyone ever feel like burying ther head in the sand, in science fiction terms? I seem to have a habit of being singled out in reviews for negative comment, and uninterrupted strings of rejections don't do the motivation any good.

I've always found the discussion here to be critcal but positive, a supportive environment rather than a culture of cutting people/work to the ground based on throwaway negative comments!

Oh, sorry Nate for the diversion.

Back to alligators.
<br>Strangely, you are back to alligators, since I had one roommate in college who insisted on calling me Gator (that was a hint, and no, his name wasn't Tom, or Daffodil, or 'Sarah' either, before one of you smart alecks asks). I think only once has the discussion ever stayed on point for one of my stories. The rest disintegrated into debates on a host of issues that were anything but my story.<br><br>Pull up a stool, Greg, and tell us all about it. A) where did you manage to even get comments, and B) how were they negative? You're a good writer. Did they not notice?? Was this on your OzFic forum?<br><br>Nate
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Post August 12, 2005, 01:33:31 AM

Re: Alligator Tears by N.J. Kailhofer

The thing that is probably driving Nate crazy is that this is a story he wrote "15 years ago", according to his cover e-mail.<br><br>(I think I've had similar problems where I pull something out of the metaphorical steamer trunk in the attic and everyone likes it better than stuff I wrote recently ...)<br><br>But I'm sure Nate made a pass through it and cleaned it up before sending it in. I mean, SURELY a story he wrote 15 years ago can't be better than his current stuff ... ???<br><br>Robert M.
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Post August 12, 2005, 07:45:10 PM

Re: Alligator Tears by N.J. Kailhofer

Nice fairy-tale type story and one that was easy to read and understand, but it had depth to it!<br><br>A work of pure creativity! For some strange reason "Animal Farm" came to my mind as I read the story.<br><br>The Alligator loved the flower for no other reason than old fashion love. <br><br>However, the turtle wanted power and he didn't think in terms of love. He thought in terms of reason, for he figured that the flower had something on the alligator!<br><br>Too bad the turtle didn't look at the beauty of a flower in a swamp. He might have seen the contrast and lived!
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Post August 14, 2005, 07:02:30 PM

Re: Alligator Tears by N.J. Kailhofer

Thanks to everybody for your kind words. <br><br>I went out of town for a few days, so let me try to answer it all.<br><br>Donald--I'd love to be a YA writer. I've got an 80,000-word YA novel manuscript about a likeable but erratic witch & her brother I've been trying to sell for 2 years now, to no avail. When you say I should be selling to children's zines... if you look at the subject index in copy of writer's market, the first thing you'll see is that there is no 'fables' or 'fairy tales.' If you cross reference between fantasy & children's/YA to see who takes both, it's a very short list. On top of that, the youth market is split into very small age sub-groups, about 3 years per. Once you've been rejected by a big one (like Carus, which does both children's Cricket & young adult Cicada), that list gets very short. <br><br>Little Red Riding Hood and other Mother Goose and Grimm are sold as classics or literary books. No one that I have found in the last (overly politically correct) 15 years publishes fairy tales. Nursery rhymes, yes, but nothing like a fable, due to their adult content. Little books about raccoon brothers not getting along, sure, no problem, but a tale where one character eats another for their wrong doings--no way.<br><br>[Hmm... There seems to be a disturbing trend for my characters to eat each other... Maybe my next character, Sally Ice Cream-Cone will fair better with David Ravenous Wolf... Maybe not. :)]<br><br>Dan--Callahan's sounds nice, but you're just as likely to hear something like that on a stool in my kitchen. I wrote this story in an allegorical sense, based on people I knew. All the extra layers of meaning just sort of happened, apparently. <br><br>Greg--Many reviewers make noise just for the sake of making noise. It keeps them employed. Perhaps you were just an innocent bystander in someone's quest for another paycheck. If that was an unpaid reviewer, perhaps it's just sour grapes that they can't write as well as you. And yes, Gator just described what HE saw. I thought you really nailed his character and motivations, at least, what I intended his character to be.<br><br>Robert--A jewel in the rough is still a gem. As we mature, out literary cutting skills just teach us how to better polish and shine. If we're lucky, the mine doesn't run out.<br><br>Lee--I liked the way you put it. I wasn't aiming at any kind of greatness or generality at the time I wrote it, however. This particular Tom was loosely based on a certain individual who managed to seduce a certain wallflower who was blind to it's happening, 'gobbling' up her innocence. If it carries higher meaning, that's great, but I'm not going to pretend I had that planned all along. Every writer occasionally gets lucky.<br><br>Megawatts--Thanks.<br><br>Jaimie--Was the opener too slow, or was it something else that made it take a few paragraphs? In tone, I was aiming for something like Oscar Wilde's "The Happy Prince", my own favorite fairy tale/fable. It was a way for me to relate some events in my own life and also have a story for a college class.<br><br>Sohrab--Why did Gator love the Daffodil? I think it was for her innocent nature and the trust she placed in him. And she looked pretty cute in those jeans. (Did I say that with my out loud voice? Oh, well.) BTW--I still don't know why they're called schools, either. :)<br><br>Nate
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Post August 15, 2005, 12:58:42 AM

Re: Alligator Tears by N.J. Kailhofer

I think it was just a matter of me adapting to your style in this particular piece. It seemed quite different from the other stories you've written. Once I got it through my mind that this would be atypical for you (at least based on what I've read to date), I was able to focus on the story instead.
<br>Now I'm really curious. What is my style? <br><br>That may be a difficult thing to answer, so I apologize for dropping so ambiguous a question on you. My own style is not something I can recognize, since I can't distance myself from things I wrote. Apart from the occasional sentence revision here and there, by and large I pretty much remember writing it, or what I was trying to say. Knowing what it is that makes it sound like me could be very valuable in the future. <br><br>Knowing that can help me when I want to change the tone of a story, say for a different viewpoint. Or maybe I'd be more saleable in a different voice. [shrug]<br><br>In either case, it would be neat to know, since as someone is bound to want to say, I thought I didn't have any style. ;)<br><br>Nate
Last edited by kailhofer on August 15, 2005, 01:02:01 AM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post August 17, 2005, 11:29:16 PM

Re: Alligator Tears by N.J. Kailhofer

intended or not, you hit it pretty well on the head. proof is in the pudding: i'm still thinking of the story, especially when it rains.
<br>Wow. A compliment indeed.<br><br>Thank you.<br><br>Nate
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