Never too old for Jurassic Park
I read Jurassic Park for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Part of the action felt repetitive, and I had a hard time placing events in space, but aside from that, I’m happy I read it.
Michael Crichton, the book’s author, once described the act of writing and the role of the editor in an old interview as follows:
In my experience of writing, you generally start out with some overall idea that you can see fairly clearly, as if you were standing on a dock and looking at a ship on the ocean. At first you can see the entire ship, but then as you begin work you’re in the boiler room and you can’t see the ship anymore. All you can see are the pipes and the grease and the fittings of the boiler room and, you have to assume, the ship’s exterior. What you really want in an editor is someone who’s still on the dock, who can say, Hi, I’m looking at your ship, and it’s missing a bow, the front mast is crooked, and it looks to me as if your propellers are going to have to be fixed.
I’m sure you can relate; you get deep into the work and can’t see the thing whole anymore. It’s an injustice that editors are writers’ prerogative while everybody else is left to their means.