Joe’s Blog Post #10 — I had the oddest thing happen to me this week. I was about half way through a book – page 252 – and I flipped to the next page. It was 186. The next one was 187. The next one was 188. It went right up to 216, then leaped to 282. Basically, somehow, some ninny, somewhere copied 30 pages from the earlier part of the book and them into the middle of the book.
How can this have possibly happened?
So I went to the store where I bought it from. I went up to the counter. “I need to return this book,” I told the clerk. “It is defective.”
“Do you have a receipt?”
“At one point, probably, but I don’t have one now. But take a look at it. Page 252.”
“Now look at page 253.”
“Ah.” She closed the book. “Could be a collector book one day.”
“Could be I want to find out if my Space Marines killed the all the demons or found a basket full of kittens. Can I please exchange this?”
To my surprise, I could. Actually, I was very surprised. As she rang through the transaction, I had to ask. “Does this kind of error happen often?”
“More than you’d think,” she said. “Editing isn’t what it used to be.”
And I left, happy at the store, but wondering what happened to standards. In e-publishing, I get it, sometimes there aren’t editors, but mainstream, wow, they need to do better.
Then I thought, but hey, hold on a second. Everyone has trouble with the middles so maybe this is the ideal solution! Maybe instead of adding plot layers or depth or character developement or, ack, emotion, to your book, just copy a few pages from the earlier chapters and hope your readers are too tired, too drunk, too stoned, too world-weary to even notice (or care.)
So, if my book ever gets published, check out the middle. It may have something interesting in it.
Pages Written to Date: Broke 200.
Funny Illustrations Drawn of Beasties in My Book: 1 (reminded me I suck at drawing.)
Number of Dwarven Songs from the Hobbit Learned: 1
Number of People Who Want to Hear Me Sing it: 0