Teaser Tuesday 5/15/2018: “A Family Affair”

This week I’m partway through another dead tree book, A Family Affair, the final “proper” (i.e., written by Rex Stout) Nero Wolfe novel, although after this I do still have a book containing a few stories that were discovered and published posthumously. As for the other posthumous”Nero Wolfe” books, well, we aleady discussed how those don’t exist …

Not to be confused with “Family Affair”, “All in the Family”, “An Affair to Remember”, or anything written by Robert Goldsborough.

At six o’clock the sound came of the elevator complaining as it started down, but it only lasted four seconds. He had stopped off for a look at the South Room, which he hadn’t seen since one-thirty Tuesday morning. It was a good ten minutes before it started again, so he gave the ruins more than a glance. When he came and crossed to his desk and got settled, he said my guess of fifteen hundred dollars was probably too low with the bloated prices of everything from sugar to shingles, and I said I was glad to hear him having fun with words, tossing off an alliteration with two words that weren’t spelled the same. He said it had been casual, which was a lie, and started reading and signing the letters. He always reads them, not to catch errors because he knows there won’t be any, but to let me know that if I ever make one it will be spotted.

The South Room, to which Wolfe made an unusual detour in the above paragraph, was destroyed earlier in the book by a bomb that was used to murder a guest in Wolfe’s house. (Fifteen hundred dollars was Archie’s stab at what it might cost for repairs.) As anyone who is at all familiar with this series knows, murdering someone in Wolfe’s house―let alone by such means as crude as a bomb―is a surefire way to make sure Wolfe will hunt you down and catch you, even if nobody is paying him to do so.

Speaking of spotting errors (which is only one of the things I [try to] do when I print out a draft of a novel), this round of editing continues on Father’s Books! As I may have mentioned earlier, I have made some very major alterations to the final third or so of the book―such as adding characters into the scenes who weren’t previously there or, in some cases, didn’t even previously exist―and so the printed pages in this area have been very heavily marked up with struck-through text, altered sentences, arrows moving things to different areas, etc. My wife, upon spotting a few of these pages, confiscated them once I was done with them so that she could show them to her students, if she ever has students again, and tell them, “See? You’re not the only ones who have to edit your stories.” So rather than the usual several-sentence teaser, I thought I would present one such page. This one is actually not as heavily scribbled on as the examples she took, which should give you sum idea of what those looked like. Oh, and, by the way:


Not huge ones. But spoilers nonetheless.CCF13052018

Oh, and also: Good lord, evidently I’ve been engaged in this round of editing (i.e., just on this particular printout) for over seven months. Time sure does fly when you’re ripping out major blocks of text and replacing them with new ones …

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