Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Sorting Out 'Sorting Out Sid'
My next book 'Sorting Out Sid' is out this December.
I'm quite excited about this one because it's a rather different attempt from Just Married, Please Excuse, in that it's my first real shot at Fiction.
For now, though, there's a rather tedious task to be achieved over the next few weeks - namely - the edits.
I was expecting to receive them in bits and pieces, but then suddenly I got the entire book in one shot over email, all carefully marked up by the painstaking editorial team at HarperCollins.
Since yesterday, I've done about four chapters, and it's rather mind-numbing work, including philosophical debates with myself about -
- Staring at one another, or Staring at each other?
- 'Right?' vs 'Correct' as regular language?
- Disproportionate to vis a vis Disproportionate with?
- Insect Specimen or Specimen of Insect Life?
- Though vs But?
- Small vs. Short?
...you get the picture, right?
I'm getting a lot better at spotting my own pet flaws - the tendency to use longer sentences than necessary; slight overuse of italics; dislike of exclamation marks even when they're needed; a love for the old-world use of commas and 'had had a baby' vis a vis the new-fangled ''let's drop the additional had''. The fastidiousness with regard to sticking with one consistent tense, even when sometimes pace needs to be brought in with the use of present tense. And yet, the informality and slight westernization in conversation and overall story-telling just because that's a style I relate with.
It's a tedious process yet, but I find that even as I'm making changes to many changes that the editorial team has, in all their wisdom, made - it's forcing me to be a lot more conscious and deliberate about the use of language. My initial reaction had been to accept most of the changes, but as I went along, I realized - it's my book, and I can't possibly do stuff with it that I'm not fully convinced about. So I'm expecting a bit of a backlash from the otherwise-very-sweet editorial team - but at the end of the day, it's going to be a better book for sure, which really is the best part of working with Harpers.
So yes. We're on our way. Stay tuned for more updates. I'll be releasing extracts and making the occasional post about the process of making a book over here. If