Monday, June 19, 2006

Sword angles, chiggers in unmentionables

I apologize in advance for my Subject line

Swords, secret underwear, and biting insects seem more in keeping
with my sense of humor than, for instance "Behind the Scenes," or
"What I wrote last week!"

I've just finished self-editing INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL,
with a little help from my friend Karen Babcock
(who is a brilliant freelance editor).

The Publishing House Editor-directed edit comes at the beginning
of August, but there are some typos I'd rather find--and correct--myself.

When my editor first saw the manuscript in July of 2005,
she felt very strongly that there wasn't enough sexual tension in

(Since IMM is a sequel, it has to match or exceed its predecessor.)

So, in the Fall and Winter of 2005, I rewrote the first fifty pages,
then the first hundred pages, then the first two hundred pages ....
by which time there was enough sexiness for the first 200 pages,
and the title had become a bit of an in-joke.

INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL is actually a Google-searchable
chess term for an unwinnable situation.

As my deadline approached for submitting the completed, four-hundred page
manuscript, I thought that adding a nickname for the heroine,
and fitting in SURVIVORMAN, Les Stroud's advice about water,
wilderness condoms and incontinence wear could wait until the editor's edit,
but I did not realize that the official editing would be in August,
with galleyproofs to be checked in September.

I decided I'd better tie up a few loose ends on my own and make sure no
swordsman was sitting at the same time that he was bowing with a flourish
with his sword protruding at an angle.

Someone did sit down --on the arm of a chair-- before he bowed.
My choice was to delete the act of sitting, or add a stage direction
for him to stand again.

Also I had to check that no one's ancestors' eyes changed color between
this book and the prequel.

(That was an intellectual challenge, because eye color was a story point.
Yes, I found a cool solution.)

To be honest, I do not have any incontinent characters in my novel.
Well...if I am going to be pedantic about it, there is a god-Emperor who
has a problem with escape velocity, but he does not leave the dignity of his Palace.

However, if a woman is unexpectedly marooned on a desert island
without a month's supply of toiletries, she might wonder how she'd improvise.
SURVIVORMAN suggested that my heroine consider the most absorbent
material available (cut from an ejector seat, or from clothing) plus Spagnum type

I hear from a female survivalist that red bugs can live in moss -- so one must
be sure to boil the moss. What a useful thing to know!

1 comment:

Hope said...


I am now looking forward to IMM even more! :-)) I want to read it now!!!

But I have to wait until next year, right? Noooooooooo...