March 19th, 2009


[links] Link salad wishes it was a fisherman

The Banal Evil of the Google Copyright Settlement [ | LiveJournal ] — The comments threads in both cross-posts are very interesting. This weekend (after Pinion is delivered) I plan to catch up on the issue and do an updated post.

The Guardian on the Google search settlement — (Thanks to tetar.)

Penny Arcade on "Syfy"

World's first proper flying car makes debut flight — Oh, boy. As crappy drivers as most people are...

?otD: How far away from dry land?

Body movement: 40 minute suburban walk
This morning's weigh-in: n/a (travel day)
Currently reading: The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade by Herman Melville; Watchmen by Alan Moore etc.

Originally published at


[process] The gentle art of revision, OR, how to read your own book nine times

I am always learning from my writing. I'm now most of the way through the revision process on Pinion, f/k/a Tourbillon.

The rough draft, written last fall, was 199,400 words long.

On 3/4 I did a close read of it, editing as I went along. I finished that on 3/10. The main purpose of that draft was to get the book firmly inside my head. The manuscript stood at 198,800

3/12-3/13 I did a pass for deep, hard cuts at the scene and sub-scene level. With the book in my head, I could much more effectively judge where certain elements could be cut. This was pretty difficult, as Pinion has six point of view characters, with intertwined plot arcs. So cutting in one place often created structural, plot or continuity problems elsewhere. That got me down to 168,800.

3/14-3/18 I did a very deep line edit. This involved very slowly going through everything post-cut, as well as back to the prose in each phrase and sentence. This wasn't as conceptually difficult as the previous hack-and-slash revision pass, but was much harder work, because of the intense attention to detail. That got me down to 160,700.

Tonight and tomorrow I'll be working on the fix-it notes scattered through the manuscript from the previous three passes, as well as writing the two new scenes necessitated by the large-scale cuts — continuity bridges to account for deleted action which advanced the plot. My (quite reasonable) goal is to have it in to casacorona by tomorrow night. I expect to be somewhere around 162,500, with the newly inserted material.

By the beginning of May, I'll get change notes back from casacorona, as well as my various first readers. That will generate two more revision passes. One to deal with the change notes themselves (however intensive that may be), and one for yet another very deep line edit to finalize the manuscript. The book will go back in for formal acceptance before the end of May.

After that, I'll see it on copy edit (maybe fall, 2009), hardback galleys (maybe late fall, 2009) and mass market paperback galleys (maybe fall, 2010).

So, counting the rough draft, before this book is done I will have worked through it nine times.

And people wonder why I generally don't read my own work in final published form...

Originally published at


[awards] Well, lookie here

Hugo nominations are out

I draw your attention to:

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
(436 Ballots / Bulletins)

* The Dark Knight Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer, story; Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, screenplay; based on characters created by Bob Kane; Christopher Nolan, director (Warner Brothers)
* Hellboy II: The Golden Army Guillermo del Toro & Mike Mignola, story; Guillermo del Toro, screenplay; based on the comic by Mike Mignola; Guillermo del Toro, director (Dark Horse, Universal)
* Iron Man Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway, screenplay; based on characters created by Stan Lee & Don Heck & Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby; Jon Favreau, director (Paramount, Marvel Studios)
* METAtropolis by John Scalzi, ed. Written by: Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell and Karl Schroeder (Audible Inc)
* WALL-E Andrew Stanton & Pete Docter, story; Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon, screenplay; Andrew Stanton, director (Pixar/Walt Disney)

Originally published at


[cancer|awards] Hugos

METAtropolis by John Scalzi, ed. Written by: Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell and Karl Schroeder (Audible Inc) has been nominated for the Hugo in the category of Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form. We believe it's the first audiobook ever nominated for a Hugo.

This is very special to me because my novella in METAtropolis, "In the Forests of the Night", is the first piece I wrote when recovering from cancer surgery. It's the piece that scared the hell out of me, because until I'd written the story, I didn't know if I still had "it" as a writer. It's also the piece I was struggling to work on when I very first met calendula_witch.

Thank you Steve Feldberg of and John Scalzi for moving the deadline after I got sick so I could stay in the project. Thank you Elizabeth Bear, Toby Buckell and Karl Schroeder for putting up with my flakiness. And my special thanks to everyone who nominated METAtropolis.

Because that story is testament to my kicking cancer's ass.

Originally published at