Monday, April 09, 2007

VOC line edits

(Apologies for early-morning incoherence, if applicable.)

Right now I'm at the line edit stage for Voice of Crow. This is the stage in which the editor makes short notes, usually related to language usage or sentence clarifications, and the writer makes his or her last stab at substantive changes.

Though I'm happy with the story as it stands, I think there are a lot of places (like, every page) where the language or description could be pumped up, or where I cut too much in the last edit.

A musician with a slightly out-of-tune instrument might still play a good song and entertain her listeners, but even those of us with a tin ear will come away with a sense of sub-excellence.

In the same way, a book that's a bit "off" here and there might still provide an enjoyable read, but readers deep down will know the difference. Each time a repetitive phrase is used, or a paragraph contains a stilted rhythm, or an emotional transition goes "clunk" for the lack of a few more words, readers subconsciously lower their estimation of the book another fraction.

They might not be able to articulate why the book was merely good instead of awesome, but when their friends ask if they recommend it, they'll give a shrug and a "Yeah" instead of an arm-clutch and an "Ohmigod, you MUST take a sick day and read this book NOW, then call me the minute you finish it!"

And on that note, I'm off for the next few days to complete the line edits. See you on Friday!



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