Friday, March 27, 2009

Laurie Halse Anderson, First Pass Pages

A few things:

1. I had an awesome time last night at The King's English bookstore. Laurie Halse Anderson (SPEAK, TWISTED, WINTERGIRLS, etc.) was there and it was like a huge party! Lots of authors and writers, lots of Laurie's fans. Here's a picture of me with the Guest of Honor, taken by my new friend Valynne Nagamatsu.



Anyway, I'm here to tell you that this woman is incredible. Friendly, down to earth, genuine and sincere. Not to mention a brilliant writer and mega bestseller. I'm so glad I went. And get this: Laurie said last night that it was her best event. Ever. And she was very serious. Way to go King's English!

2. I received the first pass pages from Krista. Otherwise known as FPP. Don't know what that is? Well, neither did I! It's the book in typeset form, looking very bookish indeed. In fact, it's what they used for the ARCs, which should be done any day now. (The book clocks in at 387 pages, which is less than 13th Reality even though it has more words.)

It didn't take me long to go through them, make my comments (I think all of 2 in the whole thing). I've already sent them back to Krista.

3. I'd recently started having my usual author self doubt moments about MAZE. Ya know, thinking it was horrible and that Delacorte must be whacked in the brain for publishing it. But after reading the thing after at least a month of not having seen it, I realized it's not so bad after all! I really can't wait for people to start reading it. I think. I'm very nervous about the big reviewers.......

4. I learned some interesting things about changes that happen at this late stage. Krista had made quite a few notes for the typesetter. Here are some examples:

a. Punctuation ladders. This is when three or more sentences just happen to end on the right side, so you have three periods in a row, like a traffic light. Doesn't look good, so they mix it up somehow.

b. Orphans. They don't like paragraphs ending with just one word. And they also don't like words being split between one page and the next.

c. Italics. A lot of times, a phrase would be in italics, but not the punctuation at the end of it. Very hard to notice, but important I guess! Especially when it's a question mark.

d. Maintaining consistency. I noticed at least 2 examples. One, having no comma after the next-to-last word in a series of words. (ya know, like Mr. Jones loved to eat turtles, porcupines, toenails and liver.) Also, sound effects were sometimes in italics, sometimes not. This was supposed to be corrected last round, but a few of them got missed.

5. I passed an important threshold in THE SCORCH TRIALS. It's now over 50,000 words, which I estimate to be about halfway. Boo yah!

6. Start prepping if you live in this area: I'll be at the Barnes and Noble in West Jordan on Tuesday April 7th at 7:00. J. Scott Savage (FARWORLD) will also be there and it's gonna be a party. Cool people only, please. (Cool defined: you like to read.)

7. Have a great weekend!

27 comments:

numberonedashnerfan said...

first yay

numberonedashnerfan said...

Dashner see you in april...enless im not cool enough for you ...thanks for thoose writing tips...congrats on the word count...is Farworld a good book?.....

LexiconLuvr said...

Congratulations!

Deborah said...

Either second or third again, depending on how you see it. I' glad you're doing so well. Just remember us little people as you continue to climb.

requist: A magical gift, given by a faerie king or queen.

Deborah said...

Well, it looks like someone beat to my spot while my mother talked at me.

Carolyn V. said...

It's good to hear published authors (as big as you) still get nervous about their books. =)

It will be awesome. I'm waiting for Maze Runner to come out so I can read it!

Are you going to have any more readings of The Maze Runner? Just wonderin' I missed your reading at the LTUE and have been regretting it ever since. darn it.

Arlene said...

Ah man! You missed out at LTUE! James' reading was definitely a highlight for me. Although, apparently I missed an entire monkey joke. :)I'm saving my pennies and excitedly looking forward to the release of Maze. James, thanks for that publishing insight. Fascinating! Truly. I love hearing how a book is born. And thanks for posting again. Love a little dose of the Dashner Dude in the morning. :)

James Dashner said...

#1, you're def cool enough. Please come. And I think you'd like FARWORLD a lot.

btw, the writing tips only relate to typeset pages. Don't worry about nitty gritty stuff like that in your manuscripts.

Deborah, none of my blog readers are little people. Just awesome people.

Carolyn, sorry we missed you!

Arlene, you're very nice. Sorry you missed the monkey joke.

Arlene said...

No problem. I'm sure there are more where that came from. :)

Anonymous said...

Aaaahhh! I can't believe I'm saying this, but I wish I lived in Utah again! (I don't like snow, which is why I now live in the South.)

So, here I have GREAT weather, BUT I can't ever make it to any of those cool book signings that take place in Utah! (In the SNOW!!)

Do you still have relatives here, who you can't wait to visit? Isn't it time you reconnected with them and held a book signing here?

Sincerely,
#1 fan in Georgia

Brodi Ashton said...

It was so great to meet you and Laurie Halse Anderson in the same evening! You have a new fan.

Donna said...

Dashner, Dashner, Dashner.
Self-doubt? since when? Seriously though I can't tell you how much that one sentence helped me today because I truly loath self doubt especially when it creeps in after I've spent months on a manuscript. The doubt during the writing is expected, but weeks after you finish the book it seems like a slap in the face and WHO KNEW that it could still hit after that advance check comes from a publisher that loves your story...So glad you pointed that little pothole out for all of us so that we can be prepared for the moment when it hits.

I'm also glad that you really enjoyed rereading MAZE "it wasn't so bad after all" I'm assuming can be translated as "I surprise myself sometimes with the genius in my writing but since I don't want to sound conceited I'll just say its not bad."

The editing points are great insight in the process too.

Lastly, viva la Dashnog! (I started reading 13th Reality last night...now how's that self-doubt? You should be afraid--very afraid;)

I like Seth said...

i love laurie! i emailed her on goodreads and she wrote back! you should ask her about me :D i told her i worshiped her lol. thats awesome about maze! congrats! can you come to ogden sometime? everywhere else in utah is too far away!

Arlene said...

Hey! You actually have photo documentation that you met Laurie! If my dad were here he'd say pictures can be doctored, but I believe you. It looks like you guys had a good time.

Keep up the writing. You're half-way done which means you have another 50,000 words to go. Don't get sloppy!
(That was meant as encouragment...in a twisted kind of way).

Anonymous said...

I can't say that the photo wasn't doctored, but I do know that TDD was there last night in the same room with LHA! :) He even asked a question during the Q&A!

Carrie Ryan said...

I'm usually a huge fan of the serial comma but my typesetter took them all out of my first book for consistency. I miss my extra little comma though I tended to have few commas otherwise.

It's strange the things that we and editors notice that I doubt the reader ever would!

Congrats on FPP, can't wait for the ARC :)

Georgie K. Buttons said...

I wish I could have been up there on Thursday. That would have been neat. Good job, Mr. Dashner!

James Dashner said...

Hey, Carrie Ryan posted a comment!!! She's the author of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH that I just blogged about. Everyone say Hi Carrie!

Brodi, thanks for buying my book! I can't wait to buy yours when it comes out. Keep me posted.

Anon in GA: I'm sure I'll end up doing another event there. Stay tuned....

And Ogden, too. I think we're going to have a Writing for Charity event there in Aug or Sept.

Graham Chops said...

Maybe I better sit that April 7th book signing out... ;-) See you at Storymakers!

Arlene said...

Hey! I just got informed that I can pick up "Forest of Hands and Teeth" the library on Monday. Yay! I can't wait to read it!

numberonedashnerfan said...

Thanks for saying im cool enough ....I looked at the FARWORLD website -http://www.readfarworld.com/ which isnt as easy to navagate and not updated like yours is but it is simmular and I read chapter 2 of the book and think that I might use my alowance to get it signed and read it to of course....Hi Carrie!....my word is Natoin it shall mean holidays...

numberonedashnerfan said...

oh and in the pic Laurie looks very proud that she met thee James Dashner

Arlene said...

Wow! Less than two hundred days till Maze is released!

Arlene said...

Busy busy weekend. My daughter turned eight this month and all my family were town. You can imagine. But now I'm off to the library. Hooray!

James Dashner said...

#1, pretty sure it was the other way around.

Yes! Less than 200 days!

numberonedashnerfan said...

well okay than youre both really proud...idk..word chuctio meaning idk yet.tiki tiki

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