Book Rant

Hello, hello! September is flying by. I can’t believe we’re already a third of the way through it (close enough anyway). I have no idea where the time is going. I’ve mostly been reading. It’s weird. I’ve already read this month’s book for the review and I’m currently working on next month’s book since it’s on the long side. But, since the last time I talked about reading, I’ve also read another book from my “want to read again” list. It’s an old book I read back in elementary school and loved. Well, I picked up the Kindle version via my library’s OverDrive account and apparently they updated the book when it was released as an eBook. Needless to say, I have issues with it.

The cover of the 2012 Kindle version.

Ransom by Lois Duncan is about a group of five kids who live in one of the richer areas of New Mexico getting kidnapped when someone steals their school bus. It’s a story about five completely different people struggling to survive and come to terms not only with what’s happening, but also with each other. Honestly, it’s a little melodramatic and the dialogue is a bit stilted, but it’s a fun read if you come into it with the right mindset.

The book was written in 1966. I read it in the early ’90s. In other words, it was pre-Interwebz and pre-cellphone. That’s what makes the plot believable in the first place. The kidnappers can’t get in touch with one of the families via home phone, which ups the tension. There’s no such thing as email or texts or any of that. People are out of touch with each other for hours on end. Parents can’t track their kids’ phones. No one actually worries until someone isn’t home for dinner. That was the norm back then and it made the story plausible. It made it exciting.

This is how kids used to know it was time to get home, even when I was a kid.

But when I started reading the Kindle version from Open Road Media, I noticed they added things. There were random mentions of cellphones and a lame attempt to explain a daughter writing letters to her dad because he wouldn’t answer her emails. It’s like the editors were trying to make the story more accessible to a modern audience, but all they managed to do was make the story ridiculous. Plus, they didn’t bother updating the speech or coming up with a more modern excuse for the cripple dude. I mean, how many kids have had polio recently? According to the CDC, we haven’t had a case in the U.S. since 1979. In 1966 when the book was published, the idea that an 18-year-old had contracted polio as a child wasn’t far-fetched at all. If you’re going to update a book, at least be consistent. The anachronisms in the version were eye-twitch inducing.

Basically.

In other words, avoid this version of Ransom. Try to find something earlier. I don’t know if other newer versions do the same thing, but if you run across mentions of cellphones or emails in your copy, know that it’s LIES. This is a good book if you can get into the time period. I don’t understand why they felt the need to update it. It wasn’t necessary. It just ticks me off. Anyway, as always, feel free to share your thoughts or comments or similar stories here or on my social media pages!

More Revision? Ugh…

Hey all!  I know I would usually do a food review today, but I haven’t really been anywhere.  I could gush about Dad’s cooking for a while if you wanted, but I don’t know if you want me to, so I won’t.  I do plan on going somewhere this week, so hopefully I’ll have something delicious for you next Wednesday.  Anyway, what shall we talk about today?  How about another discussion about revision?  Namely, my revision process (which is being quite evil this go around).

So, I don’t recall if I’ve shared this, but I’ve recently started revising G&G (see a description here).  My problem is that I’ve never really revised anything on this large of a scale.  I only ever wrote short stories before.  Needless to say, my usual approach to revision failed me miserably.  Normally, I do a read-through then another read-through/dive right into revising.  I did my read-through (of course I hated it again), then I hit a wall.

headwall
Kind of like that.

I tried to work my way through it, but when I hit the third day of staring at the screen with my eye twitching, I decided something had to give.  I went and I added an extra step (a read-through with notes), which I finished Monday.  It actually went pretty well.  I feel much better about going in and skinning my baby alive then fattening her up and making her all pretty again.

revision-angst
Maybe?

Part of me wonders if maybe I was simply suffering from some random bout of angst or something.  I normally don’t have any major attachment to my writing (don’t judge me), but maybe after nursing this thing for two or more years, I was feeling a little clingy.  However, when you write yourself a note that says “Is it necessary or was it simply to meet word count?,” it becomes a lot easier to take a knife to that section.  Ah well.  At least I feel much more confident about getting into the big changes now.

I guess what I’m trying to say is be open to tweaking your routine.  A lot of people call me OCD because I like to do things certain ways, but at the same time, if something isn’t working, I’m willing to change it.  Writers need to be flexible when it comes to these things.  After all, we all know the definition of insanity.

78b5227b687eb6bd7bb4d05a75d277aa
If you say so…

Anyway, enough about me!  Let’s hear about you.  What’s your revision process?  Do you just jump right in?  Maybe you make notecards or charts or something.  Do you print your manuscript and lay it out everywhere?  What kind of revision magic do you work?

Until next week!