D: Who is behind the curtain?
D: But – are you accusing me of being a hack who subs sawdust for brains?
A: You’re rather attached to that reference, aren’t you?
D: It comes in so well with you.
A: Cheers, D. And while that was part of the allusion, I was more referring to these shots and videos of Benedict Cumberbatch doing the motion capture work for Smaug.
D: That’s it?
A: Just not feelin’ it today, D. It was either this, or rant about darling killing and how much I want to rip Part 2 to shreds right now because I can’t get the kids to Dublin in any fashion that resembles believable.
D: Believable? From you, A? Honestly, woman. I have four words for you: Time-Traveling Pict Druid.
A: Yeah, and?
D: You blog with a figment of your imagination.
A: . . .
D: Believability ain’t got nuthin’ on you, to paraphrase my favorite hillbilly bounty hunter.
A: Really? Your favorite?
D: Considering that ‘A the Bounty Hunter’ is the only hillbilly bounty hunter I know, yeah, I think so.
A: Gee, D – that’s the nicest thing you could have said to me!
D: You have some very strange ideas on what ‘nice’ is, A.
A: Consider the source.
D: . . . Fair enough. Just do this old Druid a favor, please?
D: Have fun with this story. If you do – then like as not, so will everyone else.
A: I’m not even going to ask what you did with my Druid. You’re calmer, older, timey-wimey D, aren’t you?
D: Shhh. Don’t ruin the moment, A.
A: Cheers, D.
And there you have it ladies and gentlemen: every once in a while, the Druid has something decent to say. I’ve done three iterations of this ‘dialogue’ – all with the reproach to keep it fun. It’s something I need to remember for the introduction to 1916 Dublin. An uprising timed to piss off the Brits in the midst of WWI isn’t really lighthearted fare, but over-thinking on my part is really going to kill the momentum for the story. So, that’s what I’m doing right now – I have at least three different versions of the six chapters in question . . . and this is why beta readers and sounding boards are so very important!
Anything to which you give the greater part of your heart can sometimes swallow your reason, too. What do you find most difficult to remember – even as it is necessary – when in the process of creating something ?
22 thoughts on “The Man Behind the Curtain”
I will never, ever be able to edit myself. Period. No problem cutting characters and even vast swaths of words, but I make such dumb, elementary mistakes and don’t see them if I read a sentence a thousand times.
I have a problem at first keeping my focus on one topic, as I move to writing, other ideas cloud the way. Most of the time I can clear the clouds away, and move forward. I love your blog, because it gives me ideas about conversations I would like to write. Thanks for creating and keep the conversation going.
🙂 Thank you! I
I have that problem too, when I’m researching. I’ll follow research tangents down to the most ridiculous things (thank you wikipedia – and no, I don’t use it as my primary source) and then realize that hey, two hours have gone by and you just wanted to know if they had small timepieces in the 1500s. . . !!
I was going to bet on Andy Serkis, but I guess that’s just me. I find it difficult (impossible) to realize word repetition when writing. I think it’s because I just go with the writing and I have to write with constant distractions.
I should have had Andy Serkis – he is my hero. Note to self, more Andy Serkis.
Word repetition is so easy – especially if it it’s a good sounding word, or it just fits. Distractions don’t help, though! I did that word profiler thing online and it does help identify the overused words.
It’s those small words that get me like ‘just’, ‘begins’, and ‘about’. Not sure why, but I apparently use them a lot when talking.
I read several places to replace troublesome words/inactive verbs with a swear in a edit run-through (a saved-as copy, I’m sure) and then work through it to see if the ‘word’ is necessary or not. I have yet to do it, but I’m thinking it could be fun.
I’d be scared to accidentally leave the swear word in. I just realized I have ‘ass’ in my first book. Didn’t realize that.
That would be a danger! Especially if it were the swear that I know was used in the article I read. Yikes!! Ass is one of those middling swears, I think – I have a few article to read on the use and level of profanity in books. I know I have a couple ‘damn’s in mine, but it’s pirates and rebels and more rebels. They should be allowed to say damn (that’s my excuse now, anyway).
Think genre and audience are factors. Ass can be played off as a donkey.
The thing I lose sight of most often is the POINT OF IT ALL. To express the feeling, heart of the story or image-to actually be of benefit to others- not getting tangled in technique and structure (doing it “right”.) But (with painting anyway) I’ve come to delight in tweaking the structure I’d so carefully laid out-to to undermine habitual patterns. Maybe that is why art is so subversive-sometimes it calls for subversion against oneself. Could this be D’s role?
Oh boy does that resonate! Do you ever run the risk of tweaking so much that it loses something? I’ve had that happen to chapters, and will have to scrap the whole thing and start over. As for D – certainly that’s his role on the blog – he’s always asking the pertinent questions and when a post is about to veer off into rant territory – non-amusing rant territory that is – he’s right there bringing it back (most of the time).
He sounds like McWhirr. Where do these fictional characters get off acting so know-it-all anyway?
They see the things we don’t, and they think it’s their duty to let us know about it! Cheeky buggers.
You two crack me up. It also cracks me up that I now think of you as you two.
Thanks! Scary thing is I think of it as ‘us two’ as well… eh, what’s a little split personality between friends?! 🙂
If I had a copy editor before I published my book…I would have most likely never published my book 🙂 That is not saying the book is bad, but it would have definitely been different.
It can all be so daunting – when I try to edit like a copy editor (had one when I worked at the non-profit – I created the newsletter, he made it sound decent!) I can definitely twist my brain in knots!
An online friend just read my book and found two typos. The word fairy spelled fairly, and the word train written trained. I can’t tell you how many times this MS has been reviewed…even a paid editor….and still. Perfection. Is it possible? And copy editing…the book would have really been written totally different if I had done that prior to publication. I am sure. I am not dissatisfied with it, I just think it would have been different, especially in design and structure.
The nice thing is, you can take the lessons learned from this and apply it to following books – each one will be tighter and better!
Killing my darlings, whether they be sentences, scenes or characters, twists me in knots every time.
I am right there with you – it’s so difficult. Sometimes. Sometimes it’s a gleeful bloodbath! (Particularly if they’re D’s darlings).
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