Editing a Book Today

Because it’s due in January, and I’m basically encased in a wall of snow anyway. The book, incidentally, is The Mallet of Loving Correction, the second Whatever compilation, which will be out on September 15. I’m arranging the entries, removing some (the book needs to get down to 120,000 words, from an initial selection set of 145,000 word) and otherwise doing light formatting. Yes, this is the glamorous part of writing. The good news is that the writing was already done, although I need to write an author’s note and some occasional piece prefaces.

The point being, hey, busy at the moment. I’ll be back later in the afternoon. Maybe.

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

13 replies on “Editing a Book Today”

I’ve seen the occasional malleted comment before the mallet came down on it. They’re really mostly not worth the space they would take up in the book.

Are you cutting whole entries or pruning from each? I for one would be interested in your thoughts on editing your own work, years after the fact. Tightening is one thing, but what about the desire to, “What I really should’ve said was X.” At the same time, given a sufficient amount of time, it’s easier to edit heavily without attachment to a particular phrase or style. (I’ve often heard editing freshly written works compared to a doctor operating on her own child).

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