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It's the end of the year and the one year "anniversary" of this blog. I'm in the midst of editing my murder mystery, "Say Nothing," which I hope to have finished before the new term begins in early February. It's hard work but also enjoyable. I went through the manuscript top to bottom last week and now have started another round of close, line by line editing. Working from my editor's notes and suggestions, I am trying to complete one chapter a day, at least. I'm elaborating description, trying to make some structural changes, and correcting grammatical and punctuation errors. Much to my surprise, many of my sentences in the first drafts were fragments. I think this is because I was trying to write very colloquial dialogue, closer to clipped, telegraphic speech. Or, maybe, I had the noir novels in mind, those tough characters who mumble tough, telegraphic sentences. But I am also certain that I am unconsciously influenced by the sound-byte literary culture we live in. I don't text but I do email a lot. I wish I had time for long, discursive, narrative emails all the time, but I don't. And the speed and dexterity of the email medium is corrosive. I have known this for a long time and talk about it to my workshop all the time. But I didn't think fragmentary communication had affected me at all. I was wrong. It has. And I've got a lot of work to do on the novel to make it sing rather than lurch along. Wish me bon chance and have a good holiday.
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