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bear by san

March 2017



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writing patience

i think they're gonna make you start over. you don't wanna start over.

Man. Page proofs. Absolutely the worst part of this writing gig. The part where you have to carefully reread every word you wrote, and not fuss with them. Even when they're awkward, awful. Demonstrably bad. Your inner Jack Nicholson pounds around in circles in your head, swearing and shuddering, decrying your overuse of the word snagged and your repetitive and/or awkward sentence structure. He waves his hands in the air and bellows things like "Will this character ever stop displaying her teeth?" and "Do you realize you used the word "welled" six times in this paragraph?" and "What made you think you were a writer, anyway?" and "Page proofs? YOU CAN'T HANDLE PAGE PROOFS!"

You don't even think about the plot structure at this point, or character arc, or narrative development, Because it's too late! The relationship is over! It's like going through your wedding album after the divorce! All you can do is pick the scabs and think, "If only I had known then what I know now--"

Occasionally, though, you find a sentence or a phrase you don't hate.

So far, I have found two:

"immoral as glaciers, righteous as stones." and "A raven with a crooked wing perched upon an eave, smiling as well as could be expected."

Those can stay.

The rest of the book, I'm not so sure about, right now.

In other news, songlyrics.com exists to provide the definitive proof that most people cannot handle a close reading to save their lives.

And she's got red lipstick and a bright pair of shoes.
She's got kneehigh socks for to cover a bruise.


:: hates on page proofs ::
All the whinging may be leading to me figuring out why I'm so deep in hate for my own work these days, though.

I was just talking to Amanda, and I said--"I suspect I hate my writing so much now because I used to like my writing. And now I can see how absolutely fucking awful that writing was." And you know, back in the days when I could write 3K a day and not sweat battery acid over every word.

Because now I know that I am perfectly capable of liking my own stuff when it's crap. So, you know, possibly it's all crap.

Oh, hell, probably it's all crap.

*thrash* *flail* *thrash*

I wish I had kept track of how many times I have read this book, to learn this much hate.

Fantasy writing: A job in which you will learn to lovingly develop a gorgeous and heartrending world, culture, characters, theme, arc, structure, narrative--

--and then you will beat yourself against it like a moth against a lightbulb until either you or it are DEAD DEAD DEAD.


I have never made an icon before, but I had to make this one just for you.


Oh, perfect.
I'm also page-proofing, but my problem is that my brain is just glazing over. The words are going in one eyeball and out the other, I swear.

And then, just when I think I'm not noticing a damn thing, I slam to a halt on the fact that my sixteenth-century novel has the word "thug" in it, and jesuschristwhatwasithinking?

I'm off to hunt for synonyms of appropriate length that aren't hideously anachronistic.


immoral as glaciers, righteous as stones

Worth the price of admission.
Thank you.

I got to that one and wondered, "Where did I steal that from?" *g*
Yeah, I remember my first page proofs on a novel. I felt so helpless, like watching a train wreck meet its inevitable conclusion.

I just went over page proofs for one of my books, and it's not too dreadful. There are a couple of spots where the transitions are rougher than they should be, but all in all, I figure I just have to plow on and write a better book next time.
Actors, see dailies. I've often heard that actors hate dailies (where they see yesterday's work) and hate premieres. "I could have done that so much better!"
I think what we have here is an Artists Temperament. Which means You are Doomed, Doomed I tell you. Just go with the nice man and the jacket.
And remember, you are Not Alone.
There are moments when I love being a bookkeeper. It is all black and white, until you can't find that one penny...
Come to think of it, I think everyone has those moments of "It could be Better!!!"
Yep. It is so.
"In other news, songlyrics.com exists to provide the definitive proof that most people cannot handle a close reading to save their lives."

Don't drink the water. :)
I've just had two sets of proofs to read over the past month -- one for a journal article, the other for an edited volume -- and I found the task a lot more enjoyable, even when I came across turns of phrase that grated. But that's mostly, I suspect, because I don't get published as often as I'd like, so each time seems magical.

BTW, what's immoral about glaciers?
Fragano?! Wag wan?

You can't handle the proofs!

Was that the Inner Jack you spake of?

Edited at 2008-01-06 02:26 am (UTC)

Re: You can't handle the proofs!

That's the man.
re: songlyrics.org.

I'm a LyricWiki person myself. No flashing banner ads, no pop-ups popping up in the middle of pop-ups.

Just lyrics. Nothing more. And if it's not there, you can add it!

- yeff
I was just whining about CEM for the latest monstrosity over at TB.com (*but I *wanna* write NEW stuff now, sniff, didn't I finish that previous big bad book, why is being so mean?*)...

I told Emily I was actually a little freaked out b/c I spotted stuff the CE didn't, which is really, really unusual for me. I've been doing freelance editing for a year now, I wonder if some of it rubbed off?
Teh Mad Skillz. You Are Developing Some.

<attempts to be comforting>

I still like your books. Yes, even Blood and Iron. And I keep buying more.