Monday, November 4, 2013

Is It Soup Yet?

By Mark W. Danielson

Remember the commercial where the kids keep asking if the soup is done?  The answer is never clear, but at some point their mom announces, “It’s soup!”  In writing, the same principle applies.  People keep asking when your next book will be out and then one day you announce it’s done.  Of course, how cooks, authors and publishers determine “when” will forever remain a mystery.

My latest novel was just released a week ago, so by chef’s standards, Spectral Gallows must be done.  I’m proud of the story.  It's a perfect blend of reality and fiction with a little help from the netherworld.  Of course, each reader will have to decide if the recipe suits their taste.

But let’s put Spectral Gallows aside for a moment and return to the writing process.  For most authors, it takes at least a year to write, edit, submit, review, edit, review, correct, and then resubmit a story.  By the time their book is released, the author has read so many times they are blind.  And it seems that no matter how many times proof readers have gone through the manuscript, someone always seems to find another typo.  Holding that thought, let’s compare this to picking mushrooms from a lasagna serving.  (Okay, I admit it.  I hate mushrooms.)  A person can spend an entire meal trying to pick those little suckers out, but inevitably one will end up in their mouth.  At that point you have two choices – swallow it or make a scene.  In writing, you either swallow your pride and accept a potential error or risk your career by ignoring your deadlines.  It isn’t until your reviews come in that you realize most people accept typos, so long as the story is good.  That’s why positive reviews validate your writing and warm the heart.  

Recently, I learned that several people were talking my book up and as a result I have a pending radio interview so I must be doing something right.  If you enjoy murder mysteries involving the paranormal and quantum theory, give Spectral Gallows a look, then settle into a nice bowl of soup.  Both are pretty cozy on a cool fall night.          


Jean Henry Mead said...

I hear you, Mark. Those nasty little typos seem to hide when you're proofing your book, only to become glaring embarrassments when the novel appears in print (no matter how many times you read the manuscript). I've enjoyed your previous books and look forward to reading Spectral Gallows, an intriguing title.

Mark W. Danielson said...

You're right, Jean. In Spectral Gallows, typos are nothing to get "hung" up on. :)

Bill Kirton said...

I'll forgive you the pun, Mark, and just echo Jean's reaction to your piece. In a book I co-wrote (on how to write essays and including an insistence that proof reading should be thorough), the intended meaning of one sentence was reversed by the omission or inclusion (I can't remember which) of the word 'not'. And the book had been proofed by me, my co-author and two copy editors at the publishers.

Mark W. Danielson said...

Yes, Bill, we all make typos in spite of our best efforts. Going through old papers today I came across a letter from a two-star admiral who was expressing his "apapreciation". Seeing it made me laugh.