Thursday, May 4, 2017

Book Wrasslin'

Well, I finished the second complete edit of my book-in-progress. (Still untitled)

The good news is I don't completely hate it. In fact I'm sorta falling back in love with it. It's like the girlfriend you've been around for 5 years and recently broke up with, but then you realize she has some really redeeming qualities, so you call her up again.

And you say, "Hey, wanna get Chinese?"

So, I guess I'm at the Chinese stage of birthing a book.

We're dating again.

Talking civil again.

It is really amazing what a good thorough edit can reveal. Several times I fixed repetitive words of the week. Sometimes there times where I fixed things like times, like, multiple times, times two.
From the Porch of 1121 Portland.

Finding these "words of the week" as we call them in my writing workshop, has become a skill after correcting myself from them over a period of years. Yet I still do it. I guess the important thing is that they get caught before it goes to final edit. But still, you would think after doing this for eight years or so this kind of pen hacking would cease.

But that is the nature of writing. It is an ongoing struggle to master the English language and form cohesive streams of thought.

Now, I started my third edit last night and came across another annoyance. In the first paragraph of the book where I start by talking about our porch, for some unknown reason I end the paragraph talking about our solid maple doors.

On the porch? I think not!

What the heck, man. Have you ever written before?

While the talk of doors might have fit somewhere else in the book, it certainly had no place where it lay. The question is, how did I miss it the first time through? And how did my workshop colleagues miss it?

What the heck, man. Haven't they ever written before?

There were a hundred other little annoyances in edit #2 as well. Paragraphs that were too short. Sentences that were too long. Subject changes mid paragraph and repeating an event that was mentioned earlier in the book.

All of this stuff makes reading more arduous for the readers. Authors should look at their readers' time as precious and not beat them up with writing that reads like a seventh grader.

And so I'll go through it a third time, hopefully with considerably more ease than the second time. From there I will pass it on to my friend and editor in Michigan. She will go through it essentially a fourth time.

From there, we should be good to go. Overall, I'm keeping on track, despite occasionally sounding like I'm writing while knocking off a bottle of Scotch.

Stay tuned.

Blogging off,,,


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