Stage Three Revision

Stage Three overlaps Stage Two, because–especially this time–there’s no reason to ignore 3rd level problems while reading aloud to someone from the computer screen (there is no print-out yet.)    So if I find an entire paragraph that’s now redundant (a Stage Two problem) I just delete it,  or a temporal-sequence problem,  I mark that section in red and fix it when through reading, and if I find a typo (and boyoboy do I find typoes!)  I fix it.  Same with “infelicitous phrasing,”  doubled doubled words, and so on.

Every book *should* have (can easily have if you don’t have a submission deadline)  at least three full length revisions: structural, constructional, surface polish.  And also at least three readings: one of them voiced, out loud, two by readers with somewhat different ages/backgrounds, etc.  This time my original first-reader (Rancherfriend Ellen) can no longer read, because of severe macular degeneration, so I’ve been calling her up every day and reading a chapter or two to her, as I’ve finished that part’s stage two (or think I have.  She was a superb first reader, and she notices even hearing the book that “you said that already last time–we don’t need that bit.”   This has been good for both of us.

DRW (Readerfriend DavidW)  is another first reader, and I’m about to go to R-, who has been busy with other things while I worked on it, and combines well as a stage 2 and stage 3 reader because he picks nits like nobody’s business as well as spotting deeper problems.  He doesn’t read as fast anymore, though.    I’ve also had another first-reader take sporadic looks at it, but she’s got a busy schedule otherwise: she edits, writes, and teaches workshops.

I had wanted to be here two weeks ago, and would have been if not for the tooth problems and a few other complications in our lives, but I’m here now, and the book WILL go off to my agent this week (unless I croak.  Always a consideration when over 75.)   The book is now sitting at 167, 273 words,  and wandering up and down a few at every pass as I fill holes and trim off excess.  Probably will go in to agent close to 170,000.

Farrier comes today, in a couple of hours most likely, so this is just a quick update.

10 thoughts on “Stage Three Revision

  1. Good to hear you are making progress on the timescale you expected, absent the teeth.

    I hope Tigger and Rags were polite to the farrier

    1. it was the coolest morning so far. The neighbor’s cattle were galloping around, calves bouncing, the way they do. Tigger and Rags came galloping in for breakfast, and immediately galloped back out again, not having taken more than a bite of hay. Repeatedly. I messed with them a couple of hours before the farrier arrived, at least, and they were *still* tense and freakish when he arrived, though it had warmed up a lot. So…polite was not what either of them were, though Rags was trimmable. We tried putting Tigger in his favorite part of the barn area, where he could stare at what he kept staring at, but he wouldn’t let the farrier get a hoof. Wasn’t trying to kick, just dancing around. Farrier and I are both old enough to value “not being hurt, even by accident, by horse acting like a totally untamed mustang” so Tig didn’t get trimmed. Also he’s managed to cut his heel bulb (all the wild galloping, bucking, whirling, etc) and I’m hoping today I may have better luck in getting a hose on it and some soap and some medicated stuff. SIGH.

  2. Glad the book is making real progress. Most people do not realize that writing a book is a long hard process. And please do not become a frog.

  3. I am so looking forward to your next book. I’d be a reader for you, if I wasn’t already so booked up with my books, clients, etc. Also, I love reading your books so I wouldn’t get the total reader experience, would I?

    And hats off to you with all the editing. I absolutely know what it’s like.

    1. Well, you’d get the total reader experience of someone who liked my books…but not the “naive reader” experience. And I understand being booked up with your own books, work, etc.

  4. Naughty Tigger. I’ve never had to medicate a horse, but trying to get a look at the paw of an unwilling German Shepherd was hard enough even though with two of us we could at least hold him still. But you don’t want to do that unless you really have to, so most of the time inspection involved waiting until the paw was visible while he was lying down. Our previous two GSDs would come and offer you a hurt paw or a hurt anything expecting you to make it better. I don’t know what his previous owners had done to him to make him so distrustful, except they taught him not to growl, when we got him he air snapped to warn you he was getting worried – not ideal. He did get better about trusting us with almost everything else, but examining his paws was hard right up to the end.

    1. So great to hear the progress. I’ve edited a dissertation and lots of essays so I feel empathy for this part of the progress. Once again, Tigger is living up to his namesake. Since Jazzlet shared her animal foot story, here is mine. We sort of rescued a golden retriever named Sarah. She was about 10 years old or so when her owner was killed in a car accident. They lived across the street from us. The family was a mess and Sarah started hanging around our house. One morning I got up and she was asleep by my back door. We tried to get her to stay home and she continually came back.
      The widow of our neighbor told us to just keep her. We live in farming area with canals and Sarah LOVED playing in the canals. About two years after she moved in with us she got stuck in one of the larger canals and couldn’t get out, we finally found her about 24 hours later and she had scratched her toenails down to nothing and her feet got infected. First vet we took her to said nothing could be done because it was in the bone and he said we should put her down. I couldn’t do it so called several friends who suggested a vet in another town. He said, “I think we can solve this”. He gave us an oral antibiotic and a gallon of betadine (he was friends with a people surgeon who would give him the betadine that was opened for human surgeries but not all used). Sarah loved the attention and within about a week, three times a day I would say “Come Sarah, I need to clean your feet” and she would lie down in the kitchen floor and offer first one paw then the next while I washed and treated her feet, covered them with my old white socks, and put the leather dog booties back on. All the kids in the neighborhood thought it was funny to see a dog wearing “shoes”. Her feet healed, her toenails grew back, and she lived another couple of years. She was about 15 or so when she died. Now we have a border collie mix and she HATES having her feet or teeth examined. I should have insisted more when she was a puppy but now she’s almost 13 and rules my life.

    2. Always sad to see the issues former owners cause in their animals. Kallie, despite the neglect she’d suffered, was a sweetie who had at some time been loved and cared for, so she trusted me all the way to the final injection.

      Tigger doesn’t, and it’s sad, because his breeding should’ve produced a horse ready to bond with someone.

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