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David D. Levine
08 May 2005 @ 11:00 pm
Editing hours: 69.5 | Since last entry: 6.9 | Percent complete: 100%

Final manuscript word count: 124,247
Final manuscript page count: 584
Synopsis word count: 3460

It took me over an hour to browbeat Microsoft Word into formatting it properly (why, oh why, doesn't find and replace with paragraph styles impose all of the style's font settings?) and over five hours to bash out the synopsis.

On the synopsis, what I intended to do was a light edit on the synopsis I'd written for the Lupton contest last year. What I wound up doing was just sitting down and telling the whole story from the beginning, one paragraph per chapter, trying to get in as much emotion as possible without running too long or losing any important plot points. What this banzai first draft lacks in panache, I hope, it makes up in verve. I'm not as concerned about the synopsis as I would be if I weren't sending out a complete manuscript at this point.

I looked at the manuscript occasionally while writing the synopsis, but mostly I just re-told the story from memory. In some cases I simplified, combined, or omitted incidents to make it smoother; in a few cases I admit that I wrote what I wanted to have happen in a scene instead of what's actually on the page. It's a lot like the synopsis of Les Miserables in the booklet of the CD of the musical of the novel... it bears a resemblance to the original in the same way that a postage stamp bears a resemblance to an enormous painting like "Whistler's Mother" or "Sunday on La Grande Jatte." But, with luck, I've captured the flavor of the original -- the same shampoo in a smaller bottle.

And so Remembrance Day is done... by which I mean I am letting it go, rather than that I feel I'm really finished with it. I would still like to rewrite a couple key scenes near the end, where Jason reveals all to Sienna and, for some inexplicable reason, she doesn't kill him. I would still like to raise Jason's fanatacism in the months leading up to Remembrance Day, to make him kill with his eyes open instead of by accident. Clarity's chapters still need more description. The aliens should still be more alien.

Nonetheless, it goes in the mail tomorrow morning. And I'm not going to touch it again unless I get an editor saying they will buy it if I make certain changes, or it's many years from now and I've decided to revise this old trunked novel based on what I've learned from the many bestsellers since.

And so to bed.