Tag Archives: manuscripts

When you’re buried in work…

…you may not make much time for blogging.

You really can’t. If you have time to write blog posts, which all your clients can see, how will you explain to them why their stuff isn’t getting done sooner? That’s why there’s been less new material recently here at The ‘Lancer. For example:

I recently finished a major rewrite job on a crime thriller. It was extremely difficult going, because when you rewrite, think about it: you’re responsible for everything. This character was not introduced sooner? That’s what you’re paid to correct. Wait, what did we say about how that situation went forty pages ago? Have to go back and look. Rewriting is expensive, and in some cases, needs to be (and is about to become) more expensive.

Shortly thereafter, an editing job reached my desk that I don’t even know how to categorize (except as fiction), but it’s about death and rock and roll. Much easier work, but also more commercial potential and higher expectations as a result. At times like this, it’s handy to have another gear that I am not sure others in my line of work can access. Of course, when I deploy it, I’m wiped the whole next day. Two naps. Zero social function.

That one had to be done that quickly, because I could not keep the next project waiting: an intriguing comic political fiction tale about Latin America. For one thing, it’s four hundred pages, reckoning at 300 w/pp. For another, it was scanned via OCR, leaving a goodly number of small scanning flubs. I like the ms and believe that it’ll do well, but it’s going to take me weeks to do correctly.

I may or may not finish that one by the time it’s time to dig into a Native American historical fiction novel that’s a little longer than the previous ms I mentioned. It all depends how quickly the author is able to devote the time to addressing the matters we discussed beforehand. You see, sometimes a ms needs a significant amount of work before it’s to the stage where I can do what is called editing, not rewriting. If there are major issues to address, I would prefer that the creative remedial actions come from the author; it is his or her book. This need usually reveals itself on the evaluation read, which I don’t undertake unless I’m pretty sure I’d like to be the editor. Anyway, depending on life events, that ms could arrive any time, and I’d at least have to start evaluating where it had gotten to while still working on the previously mentioned project.

And out there beyond those are shades of more, early discussions, early contacts.

Anyway, that’s what’s keeping me off the blog lately, and away from the tough ‘hoods and fleshpots of Boise. We actually have a lot of those, no joke. I’ve seen all sorts of places that look to me like strip joints. Not of interest to me personally, but considering how desperately poor so many Idahoans are–the outcome of a chillingly effective philosophy that believes, at its heart, that the best way to keep Boise from becoming Denver is to give the poor absolutely zero incentive to come or stay here–it surprises me not one bit that there are enough young women desperate for money in Boise that it can support half a dozen strip-o-terias.

As for me, even if I were the type, I have too much on my plate. But I promise I’m not forgetting you fine souls who stay in touch with The ‘Lancer. I just have to pick days when I can set aside some time, ideally days when my brain activity exceeds that of muesli.