And it’s off. Last night I sent the third draft of my book manuscript to my editor at Riverhead.
In this draft, I addressed the two issues that my editor raised a month ago:
- I made the tone consistent throughout the whole book. Neither too formal nor too informal; sophisticated but simple; myth-like in the appropriate places, accessibly modern in the other parts; personal but intellectual.
- I clarified “lessons” without falling off the cliff of cliché.
Since my editor “bought” my book idea two years ago, we have been playing a little game.
He has been pushing me to be more explicit about the lessons about success and failure that arise from the biographical stories I tell.
I have been coy, feeling that “lessons” are always corny and banal, and that what I’m really doing is inviting readers to “meditate” along with me on timeless stories in which they recognize themselves.