It’s a new (or newish) week, and so I’ve received my weekly feedback from my imaginary editor. If you haven’t met him before, you can catch up here, here, here, and here. Go ahead: I’ll wait till you get back.
He seems to have kept to that pensive mood we saw in his last message. But at the same time… I sense a return to his original
brutal malicious uncompromising assessment of my book, Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom. It’s subtle, but it’s there.
And I guess I can’t deny that a sentence will sometimes develop sentience and leap off the page, eating the cat, if applicable, or otherwise the dog, on its way through the window and into the street outside where it’s likely to cause a car wreck – or, conceivably, a train wreck – before it slinks off into the shrubbery and into its own intensely private, eventful, and undeniably long life in which periods are far outnumbered by semicolons. It can happen.
But on the other hand a long sentence that seems to wander can be a great setup for a quick, pithy punchline that slaps the reader right in the brain before he or she knows what’s happened. Which is pretty great.
I was sure that in my many editing passes I had winnowed out the ones that didn’t do that, and left only those that did. But I can’t tell. That’s because my imaginary editor never got around to telling me which sentence he’s talking about.
Maybe it was Chapter Twelve.
Anyway, I’m off to figure that out and to daydream about the return of my actual editor. As one does, in moments like these.
Matthew Hughes has started up another book giveaway at Goodreads. Through September 22nd you can enter for a chance at a copy of Template, a space opera set in Hughes’ Archonate universe.
Template recalls the Jack Vance of The Star Kings in a space opera of mystery and revenge. The character of Conn Labro is an interesting one: he’s a professional duelist who fights at a casino where clients with more money than sense can challenge him, for a fee, to any number of games, contests, and duels. In the beginning he’s a bondservant and that’s pretty much the sum of what he knows about himself.
His maturation as a slave gladiator hasn’t really prepared him for any other kind of human interaction and that, of course, causes difficulties when he finds himself out in the wider world. Along the way he’ll meet many travelers who have their own ideas about human life that are new to him, and maybe to you, too.
Great stuff, and now available to one lucky reader for the low, low price of free.
As is his habit, my imaginary editor has sent me his weekly feedback. (Confused? This all started here, then continued here and here).
Up to last week this evil twin of my actual editor was on an escalating cycle of negativity. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was pretty apprehensive while I waited for his newest message. So when I saw this one, I had to sit back and consider what it might mean.
This really looks like a play for sympathy, doesn’t it? Maybe last week – when I called him on his plagiarism – he decided to back off. Or maybe he’s trying to tell us that even a Mirror Universe editor has his problems. Or maybe he’s just softening me up for next week’s bombardment of red ink which, by the way, never washes out.
I like to think I’m a compassionate person. So I probably shouldn’t be smiling quite so much when I see that he forgot to pack his space helmet. Should I?
Anyway, there’s an upside. Just eight more weeks of this… and we’ll have a calendar!