“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Friday, September 16, 2011

Realist Magic Liveblog 2

So, the book is now at 62 000 words. What I'm doing is going through looking for all the lacunae. If you want to write a book efficiently, the best way is to put in placeholders for things you can't quite think through in the moment, or for citations you need to chase.

Citation hunting in particular is a very different beast from writing. So it's very much the best to separate them if you can. Of course this won't always be possible, but with experience it's much the best way.

Every time I hit a wall or have a citation lacuna, I use one particular symbol: (**). Then all I have to do is search for *—the point being that sometimes I may forget to put the brackets or two asterisks, but it's very unlikely that there will be no asterisk at all. I find it's a pretty good way to mark places that need some fixing.

So increases in the word count (up about 1000 since last I wrote) have to do with filling in the lacunae. Eventually I'll start going back over my notes again, as I was doing last night.

The next thing to do after that is to make sure there's enough signposting and guiding in the book. I'm usually quite bad at that.

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