Monday, March 20, 2023

Kicking the Can and Other Things

When you're editing your own book, you will occasionally engage in can-kicking. 

There's a paragraph, and it just doesn't flow right. You'll look at it during a draft, and you'll be stuck. Eventually, you move on, because you can always fix it later. 

Third draft. Fourth draft. Tenth draft. 

That paragraph is still there, though. No matter how many times you rewrite it, it doesn't work. As the text around it gets smoother and more polished, it just gets grittier and louder and uglier.

There were probably twenty of those paragraphs in The Man You Trust, all the way to the last draft. I'd revised all of them at least a dozen times, and none of them worked. It was like trying to push a rowboat off a sandbar when the sand is so wet it becomes glue. 

Eventually, I finished all of those paragraphs. It was brutal. 

I mention this because I'm helping Eli 21.7 edit his honors thesis, which he turns in on Friday, and there is no kicking the can down the road. Every inconsistency or roughness has to be identified and resolved. There's no deferral. It's almost half as long as my book, and we're editing it in six days. 

It will be an interesting week. 

Thanks to all of you who purchased the e-book (and the paperback). Three of Fredrik's images have been added now, and they look beautiful, of course. I had to use a pre-defined template—which has space set aside for text—so there's a bit of white space in there, but I'm still really pleased. 

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