Monday, September 13, 2010

Techno Diva

A lot of people have been writing me to ask when the next book in the vampire princess of St. Paul series will be coming out. Answer: I still don't know exactly. It's on my contract somewhere, but I have no idea where my contract is right now other than "in the house." (My filing system leaves a lot to be desired.)

But I do know that the second book is coming along. On Friday, I got what used to be the "editorial letter." Now, it's an email that has a couple of macro comments as well as the manuscript marked up (line-by-line) by my editor.

Way back in the early 90s when I started my life as a professional writer, I used to get an email with notes like "pg. 145, second paragraph, which begins 'Once upon a time...' change to be less cliche?" Having the actual manuscript with the comments function turned on makes the process more convenient and, strangely, a heckuva lot more work.

I'm sure it wouldn't seem like more work to a writer who has never experienced any other method. I mean, can you even imagine hunting through a manuscript that way any more? But, I find that while I can easily see exactly where my editor wants work thanks to the comments, I tend to feel compelled to respond. I don't just respond, either. Because it's a simple click and type, suddenly, I find myself writing a mini-thesis on my word choice decisions, characterization, etc. In short, I'm a much bigger diva thanks to the convenience of technology.

It the early days, I would grumble quietly to myself and either make (or not) the changes while going over the entire novel.

Now, I find I flit right to the next comment and not re-read the whole thing. (I tend to skim the bits that aren't marked-up.) That targeted revision is the quicker, more convenient part, at least. But, as you can tell, I worry that I'm not nearly as thorough as I used to be.

Technology is a weird thing. It's such a lie that it makes our lives easier. Busier, yes, but easier? I'm not convinced. Plus, when I don't want to be revising, the Internets are right there to distract me.

Oh, shiny!


Tyler Tork said...

All right, well cut that out! The editor probably doesn't want to read your reasoning anyway. Have you considered just deleting comments you disagree with? I doubt the editor will remember all of them...

Kelly McCullough said...

I like the all-electronic workflow better. It's smoother and faster for me. But, you knew that.

tate hallaway said...

Alas, Tyler, she probably has her own copy... but, I actually had an epiphany later yesterday that made it all better.

And, yes, Kelly, somehow I'd guessed that. :-)