I am now in the final phase of publishing The Bicycle-Wheel Genius. I am merely waiting for Amazon to object to whatever ridiculously minute formatting error I may still have going. And I once again had to publish without benefit of a beta reader or an editor of any kind. You learn things about yourself that you really don’t want to know.
What I have learned;
- I can’t depend on my wife to be a beta reader and comment on my work. She tried once and told me, “Your writing is like dog poop. It is full of weird stuff, smells bad, and is impossible to get off your shoe once you step in it.” To be honest, I ironed out that metaphor just a bit. She was actually quibbling about my proofreading style and basically ignored all the content of the story. That’s the way English teachers are about prose.
- I can too easily fall into the habit of introducing characters on a fashion model runway. The first time the character enters the narrative I tend to give a head to toe rundown of how they look, what they are wearing, and how they have done their hair. I know better than that, but I still do it.
- I… use… ellipsis… marks… toooo… much…!
- My creative spellings tend to drive the spellchecker insane. In this novel I had trouble over the spellings of blogwopping, interbwap, and dillywhacking. To be fair two of those words are from the language of the Tellerons, a space-faring race of frog people who happen to ineptly invade the earth. (Oh, and the other is a euphemism used by young boys for something very private. Don’t tell anybody about that one.)
- Time travel plots can be laboriously difficult to follow through mobius-strip-like contortions of time, space, and history.
- Sometimes my jokes are not funny. Seriously… that can be a problem.
- And my characters often act on weird impulses and do things for no rhyme or reason… or rhythm either for that matter… see what I mean about ellipsis marks? Of course, one can always explain that that is exactly how people really are. I myself never do that. There is always a rhyme to be snatched from the ether in the very nick of time… randomly.
- And at the end of the novel, when I am tying up the loose ends of the plot in a Gordian Knot, I have strings left over. Maybe enough to knit a shirt with. So I end up picking them up and starting another novel with them.
- It is basically heck to be a divergent thinker. You try to make a list of things, and by the time you get to number 9, you have forgotten what the list was about, and you even forgot to number things, so you have to go back to the first one and count. Now what was I talking about?
Oh, yeah. I edited the book all by myself. And now it’s done. Time to start a new novel and make all the same mistakes over again.