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QOTD: Rollo May & thoughts on being nit-picky, nit-picky

May 4th, 2011

“It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way.” — Rollo May

Today I actually want to write, so I will. I would prefer to not break up any kid fights, fix meals, do laundry, or take care of demanding cats. Thank you, universe, for helping on this. If you could, please?

Continuity is a bitch with novels, it turns out. (That’s what I’m working on. A measly little 315 pages and 91,061 words of continuity.) Because if I’m reading a novel, and in one spot the character is 24, and in another spot all of a sudden she’s 23, that distracts me and I can’t enjoy the book. I mean, unless we’re going back in time and I’m going along for the ride, that’s different. Nit-picky, nit-picky. I am no Marge Piercy, let’s just say that. I don’t need to be — there can only be one, when it comes to Marge Piercy. (Go read her if you haven’t already — astounding writer. Start with “Gone to Soldiers” and then read “Woman on the Edge of Time.” She wrote “Gone to Soldiers” as eight separate books, I think it was, then wove them together. Goddamn.)

Do you go over books with a fine-toothed comb, when you read, or is it just me? Please advise.

— wm

“A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.” — Chuckles the Clown, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”


  1. The Other Laura says

    I think writers always read as writers and that means we look more at the mechanics than plain old readers. (I sometimes find myself so entranced with something that I become a plain old reader for a little while.)

    May 4th, 2011 | #

  2. edj says

    If I notice something like that, it bugs me no end. Stay strong my friend! Also? Editors help with this sort of thing, as you well know.

    May 5th, 2011 | #

  3. LIB says

    I’m a ‘just plain reader’ and like Beth, those kinds of things REALLY bother me!

    But, it can’t be fun to have to find them all. Do you have ‘readers’ who can help you spot stuff like that? Peter & I always do that for Leslie.

    May 5th, 2011 | #

  4. wacky cousin says

    Fine toothed comb, no. But you’re telling me about people. I remember stuff about people, and if you contradict yourself, it will make me think less of your work. As though you don’t care about your people as much as I do.

    May 6th, 2011 | #

  5. Wacky Mommy says

    “no more credit/from the liquor store.” yes, that’s right. i just worked in a reference to Zappa’s Advance Romance, from 1975’s Bongo Fury.

    i hope the readers appreciate the effort i am putting in for them with this book. and thank God for Wikipedia. Wacky Cousin, you and Stephen King have a lot in common. Also, don’t think I didn’t notice that all of my Stephen King novels went missing at some point. I am having to buy them all again. hahahaha.

    May 6th, 2011 | #

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