Last week I finally finished the last round of paper editing on Father’s Books. This was supposed to be just to find and fix typos, but turned into yet another round of “let’s move this sentence over there” and “I can cut this paragraph” sorts of edits. Which is not to say there weren’t typos too. Most times there’s nothing much interesting about typos, but every once in a while they’re cute.
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 …
I don’t often do awards on this blog, because
Dennis gets them all reasons, but recently my friend Sharkbytes of My Quality Day gave Dennis me a Liebster award. Also known as Joan D. Young, She is the author of the Dead Mule Swamp series of small-town mysteries, and her late vizsla, Maggie, was Dennis’s longtime blog friend. Naturally Dennis snagged the award and proceeded to put on a Sunday Awards and Meme Show in his inimitable style, and while I can’t compete with his showmanship, I thought I would go ahead and post the award and answer the questions.
This week I’m (still) reading MaddAddam, the final installment in Margaret Atwood’s dystopian/post-apocalyptic series that began with Oryx & Crake. Dystopian fiction and post-apocalyptic fiction are not the same thing, of course, but all three books in the MaddAddam trilogy qualify as both because their present-day scenes take place after the destruction of (most of) humanity, while their flashback scenes take place in the dystopian burbclaves that preceded the apocalypse. Hence you get to eat your dystopia and have it too. Or something like that.
So this week I’m reading The Girl with Ghost Eyes, by M.H. Boroson, which is not to be confused with The Girl with All the Gifts. Although if Ghost Eyes are a gift, then I suppose the girl with all the gifts would have them.
See? I told you it was going to take a few weeks to get through this one …
103,000 words = 215 letter-sized pages. Seems like it should add up to more, doesn’t it?
The first one or two times I make editing passes on a book, scenes tend to get longer. This is because I’ve found that if I keep going back and fleshing out earlier scenes as I think of more stuff, the book never gets finished. Here is an example, from a scene that introduces a character new to the story in part two of Shards: Brennendah, a scientifically-minded Rittandic whose job is to study the Æther, also known as the void, which is gradually consuming the region where the Rittandics live. (This loss of territory, known as the Unraveling, is what gives the territory—the Ravels—its name.) Here is the original paragraph, followed by the revised version: