Some of the feedback I'm getting is hard to balance. Some tell me they prefer dialogue to narration because it keeps things moving quickly, but these people don't read much fiction. Others tell me I use too much dialogue and that it makes for tedious reading, and these people do read fiction. Some told me that I used too much description in the first chapter, where it is especially important to have enough uninterrupted action for a proper narrative hook - but at the same time it is also important to describe the characters and setting sooner rather than later to keep the readers grounded so later events can be properly interpreted. I believe that in The Gorilla With Twenty-Four Heads, I have done an excellent job of balancing these concerns, but in the next book Secrets Of The Springs, I find that there is never a good spot anywhere in the book to fully describe several of the characters without it disrupting the flow. At least this description is unimportant to understanding the story, and these characters (Fred, Haticat, Doctor Bill) are fully described in other episodes of the series, so it might not be such a bad thing.
In other news, it is interesting how stories can take on a life of their own if you let them. I don't use rigid outlines, but I do usually have a vague idea how the story is supposed to end and what themes I want to present. Secrets Of The Springs was originally supposed to be about greed, revenge, and respect for the natural environment. Instead, it became much more about the relationship between loyalty to friends, submission to authority, and morality. It also touches upon when and when not to get involved in defending others. I'm concerned it isn't totally clear, though. Usually revision is the part of writing that comes easiest to me, but this time I'm struggling. I've had a lot on my mind lately and this seems to be slowing me down.
I'll keep everyone posted when they become available. In the meantime, check out my published books The Spider, The Witch, And The Spaceship and Terror Of The Fun Sponge.