On Impudence and My Continuing Theory of Carriger Being Assigned A New Meddling Editor
I promised myself I would make a post about this eventually, and since I’m literally rained in at all sides(Louisiana flooding is no joke ya’ll), this seems like the best time to do it.
I’ve previously floated the theory that Gail Carriger’s books were given a new editor starting around “Impudence” and “Manners and Mutiny” because they both have problems that I’ve never seen in Gail’s previous books. I kind of dismissed it with “Prudence” at first because it was mostly just being incredibly choppy, and maybe it was just an off moment? Every author is allowed that. But then “Manners and Mutiny” came out and had problems with stuff that seem to line up both with what I know editors tend to cut out AND stuff that I knew were usually Carriger’s strengths–character development, relationship building, etc. So for her to be off two in a row, after she’s suddenly been getting more attention with the Finishing School series, and having problems with stuff ways that I know is common in editors to cut, like for length….yeah, I was pretty sure.
Now that I’ve read Impudence, I’m CERTAIN. The first half was GREAT–which, not surprising, it dealt with characters we already love because they and their relationships have been built up all throughout Soulless. That was easier to do with less material because we already care about them. It was properly heartwrenching. But theeeeeeen when that was over and we had to actually build up more about the new crew, it was a slog. Like, jfc, I was forcing myself to get through it. All conversations seemed surface level and quippy, more about being banter-y than much of actual depth, and FUCKING FIGHT SCENES. It felt like there was a fight scene every damn chapter, each becoming more boring than the last because they have NO PURPOSE. They don’t even know WHY or WHO is attacking them until the very end, and each fight scene imparts no new information. See, writing isn’t like a movie script. Action scenes HAVE to tell us something new–be there for a reason–or else they do nothing for us. And like ANYTHING in writing, the more you have of something, the less impact it has. And it’s not like a movie where I can enjoy the sight of an explosion. I have to conjure that shit from my brain. It’s very different from writing “shit asplodes” in a script and expecting visual effects to do the rest. The rest of the book read like QUIP FIGHT QUIP FIGHT QUIP FIGHT QUIP QUIP QUIP FIGHT.
And it is because of the peculiarities that, though I know nothing about Carriger’s actual editor, I have decided to make him up based on what I know about them. His name is Chad. He got into editing because he thinks every book needs to be more like his favorite auteur, Michael Bay. His previous experience is editing Dean Koontz and various books about marines. Chad doesn’t quite understand the appeal of Gail’s books, except that a lot of people like her humor, so every conversation needs hella quips, bruh. Less of shit like emotional depth and length, because that’s not what the laaaaadies want, they want short and breezy beach reads. Plus, emotional intimacy is hella gay bruh. And this chapter needs ANOTHER FIGHT SCENE, it’ll be hella sick!!!!
But in all seriousness, I NEVER thought I’d say this but….if Chad the DoucheBro is still editing Gail’s work, I might have to give up on the Prudence series. Because with the characters we already know squared away, MOAR FIGHT SCENES for what, three other entire books? That’s going to be UNBEARABLE. And while not perfect by any means, her self-published work seems to MYSTERIOUSLY not have any of these problems. So I might have to get my Carriger fix only from that, because editor!Chad is making her book absolutely joyless.
Instead of finishing writing my resume, my fingers decided to write this. Oops. I have my priorities….
Gail was never one for weddings. Too many people laughing and being happy, it just wasn’t her thing. Being happy was something Gail had problems doing recently. With the departure of the Holly to San Francisco and the adoption of Sophie beginning to look grim, there wasn’t much going for her at this moment in life. Now, being forced to go to the wedding of a person she still hadn’t fully forgiven and with no date to enjoy the open bar with, Gail wasn’t sure how she was going to survive the night.
The crooked smile…
The sincere eyes…
The slightly skewed humor…
Holly Stewart, the woman who made the sexy librarian type Gail Peck’s thing and showed a fandom that science can be sexy and nerds can be cool.
Inspired by Kina Grannis’ cover of the song “Hallelujah”.
Gail had played piano growing up. It was a compulsory activity like the majority of things she did outside of her bedroom while others her age were coming into their own. While they explored, and laughed, and kissed, Gail resisted and grew rigid and bitter. She refused anything positive that may have come as the result of her mother’s mandatory exercises. Piano was no different.