My biggest blooper.

I was sailing along, finishing the last few edits to ARCHITECTS OF MEMORY’s sequel, when an e-mail came in from my amazing editor, informing me that ARCHITECTS’ cold reader had caught a medium-sized plothole during the second pass.

That’s right.

During the second pass.

For those of you not familiar with the publishing process, by the time a book has reached the second pass, it should be nearly perfect. Production has set the number of pages and artisanal em-dashes have been scattered blithely through the book. Very few changes should be made, if at all. By now, the author has read the book 292921783274932932934 times, and so has a small army of other extremely smart people. The second pass should be a perfect chef’s kiss.

…and the cold reader found a plothole.

I’m chronicling this truly embarrassing faux pas on the Internet for the edification of those of you who think you need to be perfect the first time. You don’t need to be perfect the first time. Sure, you should probably aim for perfection, but since we’re all human, it’s going to be all right if you don’t hit the target now and again. In fact, it’s expected. I corrected the plothole, sent it back, and as far as I know, nobody was mad at me.

That’s the thing about writing something as long and as difficult as a novel. You’re not going to be perfect. You’re not going to be perfect after ten drafts and six professionals going over your manuscript with a fine-toothed comb. There’s probably still a mistake or two in there. At a certain point, though, you do your best and you toss your work into the maw of eternity and you move to the next one.

Just do your best and keep writing.

That’s all you can do.

Have a great week, everyone!

(But wait, you ask. What’s the plothole? I’m not telling! You’re just going to have to get a copy of the ARC and compare notes…)

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Karen Osborne

KAREN OSBORNE is a writer, visual storyteller and violinist. Her short fiction appears in Escape Pod, Robot Dinosaurs, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Uncanny and Fireside. She is a member of the DC/MD-based Homespun Ceilidh Band, emcees the Charm City Spec reading series, and once won a major event filmmaking award for taping a Klingon wedding. Her debut novel, Architects of Memory, is forthcoming in 2020 from Tor Books.

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This article has 1 Comment

  1. I once had a reviewer write to me privately to say she had found an error in an ARC that wasn’t a typo. It involved a character showing up in a scene where he shouldn’t have been. It wasn’t major, and was easily fixable. My point is, the book had been edited and edited and edited and no one had caught it. Drives me crazy!

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