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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bouncing Noggins



This week (and for the last long while) I've been working through editing re-writes for SUNRISE OVER SCIPIO. The process has been a little like my baby being flogged mercilessly, then painted puce, stuffed into an orange velvet jumpsuit and chartreuse crocs, and sent out on the street to flip signs. Okay so it's an exaggeration. I'm not really that babyish. Really. But bidding a fond farewell to a few of those bits wasn't pleasant.

As I see sentence after sentence go to the guillotine, I'm reminded of my previous folly. My editor told me mine was one of the best books she'd read all year. For a while it didn't seem like she was going to change much at all. Silly author. It's difficult to remember that when the manuscript is full of mark-outs and bids for re-writing. At first this week I was more than a little discouraged. I'd already gone through my own exhaustive hatchet job, then that of my writing group and Beta readers. Who was I kidding?

 I have gone through and done all the chopping, rearranging, and re-purposing my editor has asked for, however.

Most of those revisions are painless and I can see they'll make for a better story. Some? Not so much. My one happiness is that I have the original manuscript in my hot little fist and I can pour over it to my heart's content. Probably as I read, I'll agree with La Editorix.

My daughter is reading another of my books I'm getting ready to send. She laughed until her eyes bugged out about a phrase I wrote (something about gustatory sensations) I'll be chopping that one in a few minutes. She also said the author she illustrates for has said he had maybe one paragraph in all his books that remained untouched. That statement made me feel much better. He's done many books, most of which I love.

The problem is this: When do you bow to the slippery slide our country's children are on and when do you hold firm in a desperate attempt to keep some kind of vocabulary intact? I think it won't be too long before we're back to the grunting/pointing stage. I'm reminded of a comedy spot I saw on Youtube recently by John Branyan. It's called something like Shakespeare's Three Little Pigs. Check it out.

And now back to my previously scheduled chopping block. Thank you, editor mine. I shall get back to it now.

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