INKBLOTS October 8, 2012
First fire of the season, though it was blue sky and full sun today, there is a definite autumn snap in the air. Somehow INKBLOTS seems like a cooler weather activity. We're back at it. John brought a nice French Bordeaux, and a home vintner-ed rose... ahem... cough…
Five ink blotters and their efforts. Dave's book with Winepress, just signed off on the text and waiting final approval on the cover art. Dougie Mac is reading Essentials of English (Barons).
Carl is speaking at a conference in North Carolina, White Unto Harvest Conference, and they nixed his idea and offered their topic. "What is true conversion--Fruit." He wants input. John posed the question, what is the minimum requirement to be saved. I offered Larger Catechism 73 and WSC 35, "...a work of God's free grace..." and the Scriptural proofs as a good starting place. A good discussion of grace and sanctification followed and how we know we are converted, the pitfalls of making fruit a contingency proposition. I mentioned Finney who made sanctification a condition of justification, and thereby did violence to the gospel of free grace in Christ alone. John 6:28 ff says that the work of God is to believe in Jesus, in justification and in sanctification. I want to be in conversion mode first, not assurance mode.
Dougie Mac got another rejection from Writers Edge after getting their highest accolade, "publishable potential," on another manuscript. He read the rejection which says it is a good story, but has copy editing issues, and has too much doctrinal material going on. Signed by reviewer #9 (they want no hits put out on their reviewers). Improve mechanics big time, they recommend. This is helpful. A great tale communicated with marginal grammar is not going to fly. Publishers like clean manuscripts. Hence, Dougie is reading Essentials of English.
We talked a good deal about copy editing and the problems when copy editors try to write over the author's book, or altering the stylistic preferences of the author for their own. These things really do happen. It happened to me with Rebel's Keep, Accidental Voyage, and there can be out-of-the-blue glitches introduced by zealous copy editors sincerely trying to "fix' things, but inadvertently introducing a big problem (as happened on page 170 in Hand of Vengeance when the copy editor omitted part of a simile they didn't like but never told me, so there dangles a lonely "like"--the rest of the book works very well, in my opinion, but these glitches can be very frustrating). Then we talked about offensive language. Winepress made David change a scatological euphemism to something else. He thought it was a bit unreasonable. Why do we use it, if we do, and is it productive, useful, edifying, fitting in its context? I like to be guided by: Would I write it or say if Jesus was in the room? If not, write not.
John shared with us revisions he is making to Saving Grace, a role for an existing character who will be instrumental in helping Grace when she is suicidal and needs support and encouragement. Not a lot of body language in this early version. Get your attributions up early in the dialogue so the reader is absolutely clear who is talking in this conversation. Placard God's will not man's, in my opinion. Your discussion of the gospel is well done, but showcasing free will seems odd to me. It derails us a bit from the centrality of Christ and his will, which you otherwise seem very concerned with. John referred to Lewis and how God can attend to everybody’s’ praying at the same time (not as daunting a prospect as it ought to be given how poorly many of us pray).
We talked again about point of view and sticking with one. Next I read an excerpt from my Wycliffe novel wherein I very intentionally switch points of view!
David read his newest fiction work, wherein he switches points of view! Protagonist is the assassin, plotting to kill a man and his daughter. Uses the word 'prey' far too often. Hit man is cold, unfeeling, without human feeling. Probably switch to third person in next chapter.