Tag Archives: geek

Revising Meet the Larssons, Day 5: What’s the Third Pile For?

Holly Lisle describes the set up for the Manuscript Slog as requiring space for your spiral notebook and three piles:  one for the pages you haven’t reviewed yet, one for the pages you’ve reviewed and marked up, and one for the pages you’ve reviewed but haven’t made any revisions to.

So far, I only need two piles.  I reworked another 10 pages last night, and 7 more tonight — through page 76 — and I sincerely doubt I will ever need a pile for that last category.  I mean, really, if I got an entire page of MTL perfect the first time, it would be only by coincidence, the same way that if you put a monkey in front of a word processor and let him type long enough, he might turn out a page of comprehensible English.  And yes, I’m the monkey in that example.

By cutting the first eight chapters, I cut approximately 11,900 words.  As I’m editing into the meat of the book now, I worry when I cut lines or paragraphs that I’m cutting too much.  But in addition to all the cutting, I’m doing a lot of rewriting (as opposed to revising):

Selected pages from tonight's Slog.

Selected pages from tonight's Slog.

The front of page 72 - I kept the first two lines, then crossed out everything else on the page and wrote over it.

The front of page 72 - I kept the first two lines, then crossed out everything else on the page and wrote over it.

I continued onto the back of page 72, and then on to page 72.1 in my notebook -- it flows neatly into the original start to page 73.

I continued onto the back of page 72, and then on to page 72.1 in my notebook -- it flows neatly into the original start to page 73.

I do feel like my writing has improved in this past year, though, so I would hope that MTL will get better on the rewrite.  God knows, it can’t get worse.  There’s a reason this part of the process is called the Manuscript Slog:  it’s like wading through a fetid swamp, and being bitten to death my mosquitoes above the water line while leeches drain your blood below it, but in a good way.  Imagine being Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen, towing the boat and Katherine Hepburn upriver, and you’ll have some idea what I mean.  In the end, you know there will be the satisfaction of a job well done, a hearty handshake of congratulations, and a helping hand to pull off the leeches.

Which reminds me:  my first blogiversary is coming up on December 17.  Not the leeches, the feeling as though my writing has improved in this past year).  I need to prepare for My Year in Review About Me, with a very special post about me.  Please remember to stop by on Dec. 17, and leave a comment — about me, my year of blogging, whatever else you’d like to say … about me.

Here’s something about me that you’ve probably already figured out:  I am an enormous geek (enormous being the size of my geekitude, not me; I’m kind of short). Because I am an enormous geek, I am unreasonably excited that TNT has produced a new movie in The Librarian series.  The really geeky part?  This is the third one in the series, and only now are the Mrs. and I talking about whether the kids might enjoy watching it, too.

On Christmas: in which I completely geek out

Day four of not going into the office. You’d think I’d be more rested.

Mrs. Unfocused and I were up until 2:45am last night, wrapping and tagging presents for the kids, and Princess was up at 7. It was all worth it, though, watching their happy faces as they opened their presents. Princess, two months shy of turning 7, opened her gifts in approximately 3.4 seconds, a new record. Junior is still young enough to want to play with his presents as he opens them, and the second package he opened was the Geotrax train set he has been lusting after for months. He liked his other presents, but the train set was really all that mattered, and you could tell that even when he was opening another present that he liked, he still wanted to go back to the train set.

I’m sure he’ll become interested in the bike in the spring.

The Mrs. even liked her gifts, which I always worry about. This year, I had her with the new L.L. Bean slippers — everything else was gravy.

As for me, in addition to several surprises, Santa (or, more precisely, Mrs. Claus) brought me exactly what I asked for: the new Blade Runner Four Disc Collector’s Edition DVD package, with the original 1982 U.S. theatrical release, the 1982 international theatrical release, the 1992 director’s cut, and the 2007 “Final Cut.” I’m in nerdboy heaven, and will be scheduling a screening soon.

I can’t have the Blade Runner screening until after we have the official first viewing for the kids of Star Wars, which we may do tomorrow. Not the new stuff – Episode Four, Star Wars 77, A New Hope, the original. At least, as close to the original as Lucas will let us get on DVD. Check out the reviews of the various DVD versions of the original Star Wars trilogy on Amazon.com to see what the complaints are all about (essentially, the remastered versions have new material added, and the “original” version available is not remastered or even from a particularly good print) and you’ll see the contrast with the new Blade Runner collector’s edition.

Princess asked me if she could watch Blade Runner. She’s a good kid, but I don’t think I’d be doing her any favors by exposing her to Philip K. Dick at this tender age, even filtered by Ridley Scott. I told her that she had to wait until she was at least 7.

I don’t mean to imply that the whole day was about presents. We had a great afternoon and evening with family, a wonderful Christmas dinner, and watched a couple of classic Bugs Bunny cartoons for the edification of the children. Very low pressure and nice. Also, did I mention the new Blade Runner set I received?

I hope your Christmas was as nice as ours, whether you celebrate it or are simply an innocent bystander, that the coming year brings peace and prosperity to you and your family and, most importantly, that you too receive the Blade Runner Four Disc Collector’s Edition.

Merry Christmas.