Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's baaaaaaaaaaaaack. . .

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.



tone almhjell said...

Good luck with the pruning, dear! And I'm afraid to say good luck with the other thing, because what do I know, maybe politics is like the theatre, where you mustn't say 'good luck' and absolutely not mac.. no, not doing it. Just in case. But you know what I'm thinking.

Anonymous said...

457 times? I'm not that bad? Hmm...then i've got some vocab replacing to see to in my book.
Well I'm insanely thrilled for Silksinger! To my surprise, though, I'm even more excited for Goblin Fruit.
I can't seem to get out of the habit of calling it by its original name. I hope you don't mind. :)

Amber said...

I will look forward to hearing about the conference. Thanks!

...I have to tell you that Kory and I now are NOT ALLOWED to talk about politics with each other ANYMORE. We got in a HUGE fight the othre night!! LOL! It actually wasn't funny. Wyatt got mad at us. So. *blush*

But it is hard to live with someone who will not try to see both sides. Or admit when something about the side he likes might be true/untrue! In my defense.Thats all I'm sayin'.


Laini Taylor said...

Thanks, Tone! We'll just say, "The Danish play" -- I think that's allowed!

And Jehsyka, I am so excited for people to read them both, and I can't believe it will still be so long :-( Wah!

Amber, I am so sorry to hear that. It's really hard. My mother-in-law is going to be visiting soon and we have to have a moratorium on politics but I don't know how we will succeed. It's a huge part of our lives right now, and it's so frustrating when people block out facts and cling to an idea that in no way represents reality. ARG! So, hugs. Good thing you guys have such a strong marriage :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow. Silksinger looks so innocent.... just sitting there.
When is gobl--lips touch going to be available?
or, like, december 31st 2009?

I'm already a member of ya for obama! I'm number 475, which is a very good number. I will say hello to you. We can be friends!

Deirdre said...

When I read how many words you've cut it gives me the heebee-jeebees about my own little story. Truly, the more I work on it the more I am in awe of anyone who's actually finished and published a novel.

The other thing that gives me the heebee-jeebees repeats the same answers no matter how the question is asked.

Liana said...

Good good luck with the pruning!

I hope you get to keep *some* pretty description in. I LOVE your use of words/language in Blackbringer. I just re-read it last week. I think now I've read it 4 times...?

I hope I don't drown myself in drool before I finally get my hands on and my eyes into your 2 new books next year!!

And, like deirde, S.P. definitely gives me the heebee-jeebies. Eek!

Have fun this weekend! :)

Heather said...

Good luck with the conference Laini! And the tailoring of Silksinger (heh - I originally spelled it "tayloring"", heh). I wish I could be there too - but one day, one day...

Thinking of you!