Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Two progress-report emails

Here is an edited excerpt from an e-mail I sent Brian yesterday:

I think it's great that the blog is taking on more of a two-perspective feel….I suppose this will help people see that we really are working this out as we go along….
It occurs to me as I write this that you as an author do not have the benefit of receiving from me only those thoughts and observations that have had time to mature. As both a co-author and reader of the blog, you are probably facing more challenges than the average author I would work with, because you catch a glimpse of my half-formed observations. [Readers of this blog can probably appreciate the discomfort and awkwardness associated with having a premature draft of anything in circulation.] In other book-editing arrangements, I normally only turn over my thoughts on a chapter when they have taken a more definite shape.  Well, we asked for it.

This is why it's important to present you with a couple of chapters that don't need a directed rewrite, and which I have thoroughly edited (not to be confused with “finished”). That way you can clearly see what I would do with your material  when left to myself. The process will be very instructive for us both. It will either raise your confidence in me, or your responses will help adjust and teach me so that, Lord willing, I can move forward more effectively as an editor of your particular material. My delivery of those chapters to you has, quite honestly, been delayed (in part) by work on this blog. Nevertheless, the progress overall seems fast enough.

And here is another lightly edited e-mail I sent to Brian earlier today.

Enclosed are my drafts of chapters 2 and 3. I do not consider either of them final, but together they will give you a fairly clear sense of how I think the book can be improved, and the sorts of things I would do to try to get there.

The formatting changes are primarily to facilitate the process of eventually converting to typeset, and secondarily to allow me to use the MS Word Document Map function, which helps me track the bigger picture. The documents themselves also contain some notes and comments.

I have not yet paid any attention to the footnotes, but given the intended audience I will likely recommend they all be converted to endnotes.

I look forward to your honest evaluation of this work...some of it maybe even in public.



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