I bet you thought you'd heard the last about Silksinger revisions, didn't you. Ha! Not even. Look what the Fed-Ex just dragged in:
Yep. Another pass. This one is very light. Just little last-chance clean-up, and a plea to trim out more words. Prune. Prune. In fact, this week that is what I have been already doing. I have cut another 1,499 words from the manuscript, and that is only up to the climax. And that's without cutting any whole scenes or even paragraphs, but just duplicate adjectives, unnecessary clauses, phrases of self-indulgent description (but it's so pretty, I don't want to cut it.) I mean, I know I could be a lot more ruthless, but I'm not one of those minimalist writers, I don't enjoy super-spare prose so much. I like me some words. (I am daydreaming about the "newt" being a short little book, though. Not spare prose, just not a long narrative.) As is, Silksinger is only a teensy bit longer than Blackbringer. I'm fine with the length, but it's a good exercise to be alert to unnecessary words and phrases.
My editor has told me in this letter, for example, that I have used the word "all" 457 times. Hm. That's a lot. Again, I can't help but picture him counting them. I'm sure there's a computer function for that, but it's more fun to imagine him totting up a column of tick marks.
So, that's what I'll be doing in spare moments, which will be few for the next few days, with the conference this weekend. And unfortunately, I haven't gotten any writing done on the "newt" this week. None. I've been an obsessive political junkie, glued to and fascinated by news and video clips and blogs. Jim and I volunteered for our Senate hopeful, Jeff Merkley, again this week, and this time I kept track and had way more Democrats than Republicans, but that doesn't account for the hang-ups and "I'm not interesteds" which were probably Republicans. I did have someone suggest I was a commie because Democrats want to tax Americans to their graves, and he hung up before I could tell him that in fact, incumbent Republican Gordon Smith has raised taxes on the middle class 67 times in his career. Huh? And how about voting against Veteran's healthcare 20 times? What a guy. Our Senate race, as of a few days ago, was the closest in the country. Eek. Come on, Oregonians. How great to get Smith 86ed!!
By the way, if you are of the Democratic persuasion and are a young person, or a reader or writer of books for young people, you are cordially invited to join YA for Obama, a social networking site set up by Maureen Johnson. There are many discussions in process, including one by a writer, Carrie Jones, who is running for state legislature in Maine and had an angry Republican man literally spit on her face when she was going door to door. There are also links to essays by both John Green and Sara Zarr about faith and politics. Interesting perspectives.
Well, I'll probably be out and about for the next few days, gabbing with writers and librarians and other book loving types. I'll post all about the conference, of course.
P.S. Don't forget to watch part 2 of the Katie Couric/Sarah Palin interview this evening 6:30 on CBS. Couric actually asks the question I've been wanting someone to ask: How does the proximity of Russia to Alaska constitute foreign policy experience? Yah, Katie! If you missed yesterday's absurd part I of the interview, click HERE. Note on the first question, how Palin has a single memorized line response and restates it twice, verbatim. Uh, wow. Good memorization job, Sarah.