Over at Conjugate Visits, author June Casagrande shared how she would have edited Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest if the manuscript had hit her desk first.
Here’s an excerpt from the edited manuscript, with Casagrande’s notes in caps: “Dr. Jonasson was woken by a nurse five minutes before the helicopter was expected to land. (PROBABLY NOT A GOOD IDEA TO START WITH TWO PASSIVES IN THE VERY FIRST SENTENCE. PLS REVISE.) It was just before 1:30 in the morning. “What? he said (ASKED?), confused. (IS THERE SOME SIMPLE WAY TO SHOW HIS CONFUSION?) “Rescue Service helicopter coming in. Two patients. An injured man and a younger woman. The woman has gunshot wounds.” “All right,” Jonasson said wearily. (HAVING HIM SAY “ALL RIGHT” SEEMS UNNECESSARY. WOULD IT BE MORE INTERESTING TO SAY WHAT HE DID RATHER THAN WHAT HE SAID AND HOW HE SAID IT?)”
What do you think? Could Larsson have used a better editor? Or should we stop criticizing his bestselling prose? Thanks to Laura Miller for the link.