I haven't written a word in weeks. Well, not proper words anyway, just these here rambling inanities thrown out into the silent void like so many mangy ducks. But as for books, editing and revisions: nada. Remember I said everyone had come back with their considered opinions on BROKEN SKIN (still not used to that title yet, but it's official now so I suppose I'd better make nice with it), well there was a late entrant to the third annual Beardy Book Read-through Sweepstakes, and they've not quite made it all the way round the track yet. I suspect they've been doped.
I'm loathed to start in on any revisions until I've got all the feedback in. Part of it's my innate laziness -- I can't face going through the thing and changing stuff only to find I've got to go back and tweak it yet again -- but mostly it's because I want to have a good clear view of the thing before I start. I've got five people giving me feedback on the book this time (which is two less than for DYING LIGHT), so they should represent a good spread of opinion. The things I'm going to be really looking for are bits where people haven't understood something.
I did a 'How To Deal With Difficult Bastards' training course through INoGITCH a couple of years ago -- OK, so I'm paraphrasing the title a bit -- and one of the things the instructor specialised in was 'Neuro Linguistics Programming' which is all about how communication is a subjective thing. Just because you tell someone 'X' it doesn't mean that they won't think you meant 'Y' instead. And not because they're thick, or obstinate, but because you've screwed up the message. The idea might be clear when it's inside your head, but by the time it's come out of your mouth, crossed the intervening space, squeezed through their lugs, been filtered by their personal experiences / preconceptions / assumptions / neuroses and stuffed into their brain, it could be muddy as a well-attended ladies wrestling night in Bradford. Worse yet -- it could be crystal-clear, but completely different.
So: the responsibility for making sure a message is understood lies with the person it comes from. The poor sod on the other end won't even know they've got it wrong, unless you check. And that's the way I look at stuff people don't 'get' in the books. If they don't understand something, it means I've been too subtle*, or too obtuse, or just plain crap at my job.
It's one of the good things about having a five person feedback group -- there are enough sets of lugholes-and-brains to pick up most of my communication screw-ups. Which I can then, hopefully, fix.
Plus they catch typos, which is good.
In the interim I'm still fiddling with the website and wishing I'd just gone for a complete rewrite instead. Sodding about with clumps of code I don't understand anymore is doing my head in! The logical stuff is OK, because I've commented it pretty well, but the SQL statements might as well be in ancient Sumerian for all the good they're doing me. I no longer understand the table structure, or how the various lumps of data interact.
Still, it fills in the time I suppose ;}#
* This is the usual culprit. I don't like to spell things out. Most of the time I don't even like to hint.