Ellipses of Evil! It was one of my old college professors, Doctor Cass, who warned us about ever keeping a long term journal of our thoughts and recollections because one of the more difficult things to confront, perhaps the most cringe-ridden, is to see what we used to write, and ergo, who we used to be. (Well, unless you’re Winston Churchill and you’re going to make lots of money off said journals later…) To some extent, this week, I came face to face with that.
I love the story in The Fallen, and as expressed in prior blog posts, I’m trying to put out paperback versions of that and several other books which – for whatever reason – presently don’t have one. When I started going through the spelling and grammar check for that book, I was struck by how many ellipses (…) were on some pages. Visually, they look like ants! Overusing ellipses is a predisposition of mine, and something I’ve known about for awhile. Hopefully in my more recent books, I’ve avoided over-using this punctuation tool meant to indicate a delay or hesitation or trailing-off. However, The Fallen has an absolute infestation of them!
Now, for perspective, the Fallen (v3) has 272,407 words and is 688 pages long, as formatted for a 6×9 novel print format. There were 6,754 ellipses in the book! That means, on average, every 40th word was an ellipses. Oi. Doctor Cass was right!
So, after going through the book page by page, section by section, I’ve chopped over 4,050 ellipses from the book, and not with a simple “replace all,” mind you. I did it myself, every single one of them, and yes, it took DAYS!
For those of you who had to struggle through The Fallen as it is, I’m sorry. I apologize. Clearly NOT my best editing work. You may take joy that I have spent nearly two weeks in ellipses purgatory removing them, and so that is a strong motivation to be cautious about putting them into future books in that number. Now, I still love the story, and I’m not going to be changing that in any substantial way. I can say, however, without fear of being proved wrong, that what is re-released will be easier to read and flow far better than what is there now.
Thanks for being here on the journey, and see you in the future!