Deep Secret ( Was Re: On Being a Hot Babe (was Re: Hexwood --Catchup)

Sally Odgers sodgers at
Tue Mar 12 19:08:22 EST 2002

> My theory is that this type crops up frequently because of readership
> concerns.  Say you divide readers into very rough groups of Good Childhood
> and Bad Childhood, and assume that the main character is the one the
> reader's meant to identify with.  (After reading _The Biographer's Tale_ I
> have trouble using that phrase with a straight face, but never mind.)  If
> the main character has a good childhood, the kids who have had the same
> think nothing of it, but the kids who haven't will possibly feel resentful
> and put off.  If the main character has had a dysfunctional childhood, the
> first group will feel sympathy and relief that they haven't suffered, and
> the second will think it's "realistic."

And a third group will think - 'Oh hell, not *again*!'

 Bad childhoods exist, but since most children are I-centric they remember
*only* what inpinges on them. Thus my husband remembers being "dumped" at
school on his first day while his mother drove off, whereas the facts reveal
that his mum couldn't even drive at that time.

from the
> But I want to emphasize that I absolutely don't think this is how kids
> when they read.  I *DO* believe that publishers in many cases assume that
> this is the truth, and accept more manuscripts with suffering,
> kids on this basis.

These are sually the books that get reviews and win awards, which is another
*strong* reason to publish them. And there's a subset of people thinking
"happy" can't be "great" therefore anyone who writes happy must be shallow.


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