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Posts Tagged ‘self-editing’

Summer is not my most productive season for writing. There are too many distractions—gatherings, to-dos, house guests, falling into an overheated swoon—and this summer has had more than its normal share, what with the passing of companion animals, a switch from office-office to home-office, and most recently, a week of sitting bleary-eyed, head-achy, and miserable, waiting for the smoke from wildfires to clear.

Also, I was editing a book.

Alas, not one of mine.

I have the honor of being a beta-reader for a good friend. He’d completed his manuscript and was in need of a fresh set of eyes. Editing someone else’s work is always an opportunity to learn, for me. Whether it’s through analyzing a passage that works well or through hitting a bump in the prosaic road, reading another’s early draft is a great way both to learn new things and to reinforce lessons learned long ago. (more…)

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Le crayon rougeOops. Sorry.

By “writing to the market” I didn’t mean “gearing your work-in-progress to match current market trends” (which, I feel compelled to add, unless you are a spectacularly fast writer with a very good agent, is a fool’s game).

I mean “writing to the market’ as in writing copy for marketing. Which is what I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks.

You see, my wife opened a business. (more…)

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Stack of BooksI was about halfway through Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Goldfinch, when I stumbled while reading the following:

Whenever he was gluing up a piece of furniture it was my job to set out all the right cramps, each at the right opening, while he lay out the pieces in precise mortise-to-tenon order—painstaking preparation for the actual gluing-and-cramping when we had to work frantically in the few minutes open to us before the glue set, Hobie’s hands sure as a surgeon’s, snatching up the right piece when I fumbled, my job mostly to hold the pieces together when he got the cramps on (not just the usual G-cramps and F-cramps but also an eccentric array of items he kept to hand for the purpose…

The reason I tripped over these lines is due entirely to the use of the word cramp. It popped me out of the story, puzzled me, and continued to nettle me through the ensuing days, enough so that it engendered this blog post.

The stages of my reaction were as follows: (more…)

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