the state of things

 

Brevity In All things

by Douglas Lindsay - 15:49 on 18 November 2010

Work continues apace on the forthcoming international bestselling crime blockbuster 21 Years On The Back of Dixie Klondyke's Spanish Guitar (a book, it might be noted, that contains neither a Spanish guitar, nor a character named Dixie Klondyke). The cover proof was approved by Long Midnight Publishing's Head of Design, Heather Abercrombie, this morning, and the books should be printed and dispatched to the distributors next week. The chances that wholesaling giant Amazon will then get their orders in order in time to dispatch the books for publication date are pretty slim, if previous history is anything to go by. And, again if history is to be followed, there will be the usual mutterings around these parts from the likes of Shackleton and a few others, that it might be time for LMP to make one of its inevitably futile hostile takeover bids.


But let's not put the coffee before the cheese and get carried away. First of all, let's wait and see if the printing goes to plan, the books arrive, and that everything is in order. Then, and only then, ought we to be going to the bank and asking for a loan of something in the region of £17k to try to buy out Amazon in total.


The 10 Second - 10 a.m. Novel has been slightly lacking this week. Late on Monday, and non-existent yesterday. This was due to some strange inner ear thing that found me flat on my back in bed for the better part of sixteen hours. And while there was a collective wail of disappointed from the many millions who read the 10 Second Novel every day - (obviously these people don't actually follow the Twitter account, but our independent polling indicates that over 17 million people around the world, and sometimes double that number, access the novel through the home page of this site) - at least it confirmed that the novels are not generated by computer, as has been suggested in more than one English daily newspaper.


The casual reader might like to know that tomorrow will be equally bereft of the Ten Second Novel due to circumstances beyond the computer's control.


Writing for Twitter is an interesting process, and one that perhaps should be followed when writing every word that one puts down. Invariably the 140-character novel starts out at something between 160 and 190 characters, and there then follows  an intense period (lasting anything up to three or four minutes) of juggling and rearranging and rewriting as one squeezes the words into the required format. Many a full-length novel would benefit from such scrutiny and enforced literary axe-wielding.


Brevity in all things is to be encouraged.


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