So, everybody got comments about TANO back to me super fast, for which I thank you all. I’m going to try to get entirely through all the revision before Monday, then start the proofing process. If I wind up being able to release this on March 1 rather in late in March, I will bless all your names.
Which leads me to the next comment:
This doesn’t surprise me one bit, in fact I would absolutely have predicted it, but I thought you might be amused to know that once again everyone picked out almost entirely unique typos. Proofreading was not the focus, of course. Nevertheless, even after all this time, I’m still amazed to see that (a) I can miss so many totally obvious typos, and (b) so can everyone else. Those of you who noted typos each got a reasonable number, and, as I say, almost all different.
I hate the way M-dashes look on the computer screen. There’s no other reason that you may see a draft from me with N-dashes and spaces rather than M-dashes with no spaces. I just like the way that looks better. So I do a Replace later, during the formatting process. I have a list of things to do so that I don’t forget, and this is one of those things.
This wasn’t an issue this time, but if you see anything bolded, that is never, ever supposed to be bold in the final draft. That was a note to myself. I ought to catch and remove everything bolded before anyone else reads a draft, but sometimes I goof. This is also just something to ignore, as I’ll catch it during the revision process.
Let me see, what else?
Five people have read TANO so far. Every single one of you pointed at one, occasionally two, important elements of the plot that didn’t really work. (Plus many less important details, of course). However, much like the typos, most of those important elements were unique to the reader. That was a surprise to me. I thought everyone would say THIS RIGHT HERE, I’M NOT BUYING THIS. This was the element I personally thought was weakest. Three of you did point at that, but the other two didn’t. Instead, they pointed at something else. Different things.
Once several readers confirmed that the plot element I feared might be weak actually was weak, it took like maybe five minutes to think of how to shore up that weakness. Heaven knows why I didn’t think of that before. Well, no, I know exactly why. That’s because I was thinking maybe it was passable until three of you said NO. After I had to acknowledge the weakness of that plot point and sat down and actually considered the problem properly, boom, it was not at all difficult to solve. I did that part of the revision last night and this morning and now it’s fine, or I’m pretty sure it’s fine.
This should be a lesson to me, but I expect I will continue to feel like various plot elements are possibly okay until a reader makes me acknowledge that they’re not okay.
I will add, in my opinion, one of the most crucial revision skills in the universe is the ability to read editorial comments and be able to tell whether they’re accurate. Generally speaking, I don’t have a problem with that. Mostly I either think, “Alas, I suspected that was weak,” or “Wow, I didn’t see that weakness at all, but it’s obviously weak now that you point to.” Then I fix whatever it is.
At other times, of course, I consider a reader’s comment, but decide not to revise that element. It depends, and again, the ability to decide not to change something is an important revision skill.
Let me see, what else.
Oh! One more thing.
TANO contains the very first epilogue I’ve ever written. It takes place only a few days after the close of the story, but there is that several-day gap and that’s why it’s an epilogue.
Everyone totally approves of that epilogue, and every single reader had something DIFFERENT to say about why it worked for them. I loved all the comments about this and I now I feel that the back of my brain did a really good job, because I didn’t necessarily have all those things in mind when I wrote it. It just seemed right to me.
Anyway, TANO is, I believe, well in hand, and again, thank you; you were all super helpful.