Thursday, July 18, 2013

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I got back on the horse today and dove right into the synopsis for the fantasy novel submission. I'm thinking maybe the day off did me some good. What probably helped even more was showing someone else the synopsis. I presented it to a friend's wife. She had read up through the first few books of the Sword of Truth; she knows what fantasy is. "Here," I said, "have a look and tell me what you think." I didn't know what to expect. I was just hoping to be able to improve it.

What I got back was a bit jarring. It actually challenged my notion that I have a firm grasp on the English language. "What does this mean?" she asked and "Did you mean to say this?" she questioned. It was refreshing to get a different perspective, and also a little terrifying. She maintained that everything made sense, but simply required a couple passes back through. I hung my head. I am 99% sure I'm not going to get more than one chance at this.

So, I wiped my brow and settled into the idea that I wouldn't be submitting anything this week, at least not before this weekend. As long as it took me to get the manuscript as a whole to the point it is now, my thinking is a few more days couldn't hurt. I also resolved to show a few more people those all-important three paragraphs. So far, they've highlighted other things that I've gone in to fix. At time it feels like I'm sharpening a scalpel. At other points, it feels like I'm trying to square hole a round peg.

So far the post of Silver Age has received one review. It feels a bit early. It is a good 25,000 words. I was happy to get any feedback at all, even though I wasn't expecting it. The reviewer didn't delve too deeply though, not at first. His initial comments had the ring of the haiku I posted from three years ago. When asked though, he did spring into action and provide me two specific points that rubbed him the wrong way. I had tried to address both at numerous different points, but clearly the dots didn't connect for him. However, with that specificity comes the ability to directly attend to the problem. It isn't a funny sound. It's a loose piston.

I wish I had some handy quote about language being only as useful as the proficiency of the person listening, but if you're speaking gibberish, you can't expect someone to mistake you for Shakespeare. Hm. Guess that'll have to do.

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