Supposed to be in Bay Area today but cancelled due to LORD OF BONES tweaking which still needs to be done…The final draft was more rushed than I would have liked it to be, which means the copyedited draft demands more work and time than I had wanted. So close, though, so close.
What I have learned about the errors of my grammatical ways:
1. I screw up ‘toward’ and ‘towards’. I am constantly using ‘towards’ when I should be using ‘toward’. And I’m not sure I ever use ‘toward’ at all. The gods know how long I’ve been doing this. I used to teach English in Japan; I hope I didn’t pass this on to any of my students. So if you ever meet a Japanese person fluent and capable in English who nonetheless uses ‘towards’ when ‘toward’ is correct, you’re possibly one degree removed from yours truly.
2. I screw up ‘that’ and ‘which’ — although I didn’t used to . I blame the formidable Poppy Z. Brite just a little — Poppy once livejournaled about the that/which misuse as a capital pet peeve (and deservedly so) — and from that point on, whenever I came to choosing between ‘that’ or ‘which’, I thought too hard about it and lost all natural sense of which way to go. (Yes, I could look this up in a grammar guide, but that would be a little too sensible of me.) It turns out that I went the wrong way. Much like how, if you think too hard about the act of walking, you kind of forget how to, or something.
3. I like to use ‘then’ a lot when I’m engaging in the actual act of writing, because when I’m in the moment I like the flow and connectivity of it, the emphasis on a particular action or moment…And then when I’m revising, I shake my head at myself and take all those ‘thens’ out. (Even now, I’m tempted to back up to the beginning of the previous sentence and cancel out that ‘then’. But I shall resist.)
In her red-penciled margin notes, my editor also informed me that ‘duffle bag’ is actually spelled ‘duffel bag’ (who knew? well, lots of people…).
She also sidenoted in the chapter about an Australian surfer who gets the surprise of his life (which his girlfriend is none too happy about): As someone who hates the ocean, I can genuinely say that this is the scariest thing I’ve ever read.
Jason emailed me about my previous post: It’s not that you’re so gullible…it’s that I’m so convincing.