Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 230 - Fantasy Writer Attacked by Moby Dick

Me being devoured by Melville's monster.
(This will make sense by the end.)
So I know that somewhere in the back of your mind over these last few weeks you have been plagued by a constant and nagging need to know what is up with The Galactic Mage release. Being fully aware that the release of my book is the central part of your universe to the exclusion of all other thoughts and perhaps even to the neglect of your children and pets, I have decided to take a break from the crushing weight of reading I have been be-heaped with by my professors—that very “be-heaping” giving evidence to the sort of thing I have been be-reading and that has been be-assigned to me by said be-professor… sigh… and, in so be-taking that be-break, I will bespeak of what is up with my be-book.

This copy will be worth millions
So, for those that missed the report on my Facebook page, I have actually got my first “proof” copy and have set upon the task of reading it through to make sure it’s all good to go. My dearest wife volunteered to read it first, and so it was she who got to discover all the little things that were missed or messed up.

For starters, my editor gets high praise for, in 533 pages, having missed only 4 typos, three of which came at the very end, at the very highest point of climax, and all very close to one another. I can’t help be believe that these oversights, so close together, were due to her having been riveted to the page and, in the thrall of my genius, incapable of functioning in her role as proofreader and editor extraordinaire.

In addition, and quite outside of editorial control, there were two other issues, one of which is a funky spacing thing in which a line of text has only three words in it, but is spread across one full line like this:

There was a bunch of text in one line and everything was fine blah blah and then
the                                                     dog                                                             peed.
Which is not what the book really says, but this shows you how jacked up it looks.

Not sure what that is all about, but needless to say, I'll have to fix it. I fancy that, knowing my luck, fixing it will cascade into some monstrous problem in which whatever technological side effect (Romulan sabotage) that made this happen will become the proverbial golem in the gears, and I’ll spend the next 15 months ordering proof after proof copy, forced to read and re-read the whole damn thing over and over until I finally get a copy wherein the golem is not lurking on some new page or another. Let us hope I am wrong. Seldom do I hope such things, but there it is.

In addition to those problems, I personally made a mistake as well. Now, I know what you are thinking. Right now you sit gaping into your monitor, the downspout of your mouth  pouring saliva into your keyboard as you intone silently in your mind, “No possible way that you made a mistake, John,” but, alas, it is true: I did. Mortal that I am, I forgot to include a graphic.

The Galactic Mage - 8 Schools of Magic
There are 8 schools of magic in my story, and while a graphic that depicts the circular relationship of each to the other is not strictly necessary, I think it goes a long way toward clearing up any possible confusion for readers, especially new-to-fantasy readers who aren’t familiar with the idea of “magic schools” like regular readers of the genre are. So, while not an essential feature, it’s a highly important one if I want to make my story accessible to as many people as possible. And yet, I completely omitted it from the book file. Sigh. Again.

So there you have it, that’s where the book is. My wife just finished reading the proof copy last night, so I’ll be making the corrections to the manuscript today and getting it re-uploaded as soon as possible. Then I can order a new proof copy and start the reading-it-through-again process all over. (And yes, it’s going to get read through every time I have to fix it until it’s as perfect as I can get it. I am going to do everything I can to prevent myself from being one of those people who does not have the pride in workmanship or care for his/her reader to deliver a book in the highest quality possible.)

Beyond that, I have a “book trailer” video underway that I am very excited about. I just saw the first 20 seconds of it yesterday in raw form, and it’s going to be super awesome. In addition, my website is being tweaked this very moment by someone far more qualified than I in order to make it a better commercial venture than I have it set up to be at the moment. And, well, beyond that, I still have a couple hundred pages of Moby Dick to read for this, my last class ever (at least it is if there is a kind and loving God in the universe… or at least some kind of luck that isn't always stupendously horrific and hateful of my personal joy). This class is KILLING ME! I love the books, but not all crammed so close on top of one another. It’s very hard to work, have a family, go to school at night, write books/short stories/blogs/satire, build a website, put together a novel for sale, anticipate and prepare for a new grandchild despite my incredibly youthful and scant quantity of years, AND read books like The House of the Seven Gables or Moby Dick in a two week window, which also includes reading another fifty or so pages of literary criticism on said whale of a novel (please just shoot me in the face if I ever have to do that again after this year) and then write about both book and criticism for class. Bleh. Can’t wait to be done.

That’s where it is. You can thank school for making this novel release take forever and for the precipitous decline in blog post frequency since the semester began (not to mention the over-wrought style of writing you have just waded through—those three of you who managed it—that I am stuck in and too lazy to edit out right now), but, well, only 6 weeks left and I’m done forever. WOOT!


  1. Absolutely the very best of luck with this Shades. I think you're a writer of considerable talent and you deserve the recognition. Here's to finding out down the line that your book comes to a shelf near me - and soon :)


  2. Just keep moving, man. At the end is a shot and a beer with your name on it and one hell of a big party! :) Can't wait for that signed copy.

  3. Thanks F.D., let's hope that's exactly what happens.

    For sure on the shot and beer, M2C. Frankly, there's a lot of those along the way too lol. :)

  4. Being just a poor ignorant peasant from Cyprus, I am full of admiration, but curious. If "My dearest wife volunteered to read it first" then how did your less dear wife react to this? Was she not offended? And how many wives do you have, you lucky man you! ;-)))

  5. My one wife is both my dearest and most termagant all in one. And I am lucky. :)

  6. I just found your blog after reading a post you did on writing short stories. I will be reading your blog when I can and you can expect to see me on Facebook as well. Believe me, I completely understand how overwhelmed you feel. I have a wife, four children living at home, and work as a manager of a drug store. As for that strange line in your proof, I believe it is due to the fact that the alignment of the text was set to justify as opposed to left.

  7. Hi R.J. I'm very happy to see you found your way to my blog from that article. And you ain't lyin' about "overwhelmed". I do feel the pressure. Although, having worked in retail myself for many years, I expect you may be doing the six days a week thing, and, as a manager, probably some pretty ridiculous long hours, so, ... well, just "cheers." Oh, and you are spot on with that assessment of the alignment, that's exactly what happened. Not sure how one line did that randomly, but, it did.