I hope I’m not jinxing it by posting this before I have a signed contract … .
I got an informal acceptance email yesterday from my editor. He wants to set a deadline of April 1 for the final draft. I’m trying to set up a phone call with him now to discuss revisions. The latest reader reports recommend a variety of changes, some big and some small. But since he’s asking me for a 6-week turn-around on the revisions, I’m guessing he only wants me to address the small stuff.
Not quite big enough, apparently. The reviewers suggested I add chapters on the history of aesthetics and the psychology of play. I’m hoping that the proposed six-week deadline means that I can ignore those suggestions.
I did get dinged for not being dry and academic enough. My editor says not to worry about those comments. Apparently they’re trying to broaden the tone of the press, so deviation from bone dry scholarship is now acceptable in some circumstances. Phew.
BTW, since you’re something of an expert in this, my perception is the kids in America today don’t spend much time in unorganized, random play outside as they used to. For one thing, many children spend a lot more time indoors than before and most play outside the home appears to organized and scheduled (e.g., play dates, team sports, etc.). Is this the sort of thing you’ve studied?
That’s more child psychology (which one reviewer suggested I include more of).
I’m a game designer so the book starts by analyzing rule-based play – video games, board games, and sports. From that I develop a set of heuristics (I call them “the rules for rules”) that describe the necessary characteristics of successful play spaces. I then show how these heuristics also apply to non-rule-based play: make-believe, role-playing, theatrical performance. Then I use this play-based framework to analyze the playful aspects of things like literature and music.
My book doesn’t say anything about how anyone SHOULD play. It’s more like a very, very deep dive into the circumstances that make play possible.