It's going to be a quickie today (in the purely PG sense of the word. Please, people. There are children out there! None of whom read this blog, but that's beside the point.) I'm just about done with my FOURTH draft of Cloudland [insert loud clapping and whistling here] and I've set myself a deadline of, well, now, to get it done. Which means that today's bloggery must remain brief. And brevity is a major challenge for me, so this is also a personal growth day. Or something.
On this last, final, ending, all-over, done-with and every other word I can think of that means NO MORE EDITING pass, my editor pointed out two little gems that I'll share today. Because, you know, self-humiliation is super fun. And yes, these quotes are real.
She circled one of my favorite darlings, and wrote in the margin, "If you delete this, will you cry?"
Well, of course the answer is YES BUCKETS AND BUCKETS, but unfortunately, she was right. As she usually is. I had rewritten and significantly trimmed down a scene near the end of the book, and as a result I had a piece of exposition that stuck out like a giant, throbbing, possibly infected sore thumb. But I had kept it there because it was really really cool exposition!!! It was all about the Day of the Dead and how the Michoacán people believe that the monarchs that migrate there are the winged spirits of their ancestors and families, who come once a year to visit and bless them. And that was so, so perfect for Cloudland that I just about jumped out of my chair when I read about it, and I couldn't wait to get it into the book somehow. Which I did. By sounding like Professor Liz Blocker, and lecturing on monarch butterflies, their migratory patterns, and their cultural significance to the people of Mexico.
Right. It got cut. Sigh.
But that wasn't all. My editor underlined a couple of modifier words in another section and noted that the "hyperbole might not be necessary here."
Who, me? Exaggerate in my writing? NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS!
This made me laugh, because really, she should just emblazon that note in giant blinking neon print on the cover page of the book. Or on every page. Otherwise I might forget about it.
Ok, folks, I'm off to finish my rewrites. And this post clocked in at mildly long, instead of really really long, so I must be making progress in the brevity department!