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Ah Rats. I Don’t Like Dear Mr. Putin—JWs Write Russia at all


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Ah, rats.

In preparing the Dear Mr. Putin for print, I’ve come to think that it is not very good. I don’t like it. It was too much of a rush job. About 50% is good. But it is not integrated well. I am giving it a thorough shakedown before print. I’ll bet I can say everything I mean to say in 3/4 the words, maybe even 2/3.

Part of the problem is that the ebook doesn’t know what it wants to be. Is it a chronicler of events? The event are truly horrific, and they get worse by the day. Or is it a vehicle for me to witness to my faith as JW? It is both, actually, but these are not easily combined. Rather than each one buttressing the other, I think I have each one detracting from the other.

It is my first project of this magnitude. The text runs about 150K, and then there are a few hundred endnotes. I wanted to put together a complete history of events as they unfolded, as logged by international news sources, governments, and human rights groups—and the ebook does do that. It is the only such record, to my knowledge. But I wrote a great deal of it here on the WMNF as individual thread comments. Then I cooked up chapters and shook out all my comments until each fit into one of them, after which I too sloppily cobbled them together. It’s a crazy way to write a book.

I felt too much the sense of a reporter chasing a deadline, and now I almost don’t want to fix it, for the light tone I have throughout is at odds with the horrific twists the narrative has taken. But I also don’t want to put it into print as the mess that it is. I figure it will be two or three months to get it as I like, and then the new version will be both print and ebook. This book has caused me more trouble than my other 4 combined.

The revised ebook will remain free, for it is a labor of love. Of course, the print version will not be.

As to the horrific twists the narrative has taken, they are logged in this latest update from Chivchalov: 

    Hello guest!

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Ah, rats. In preparing the Dear Mr. Putin for print, I’ve come to think that it is not very good. I don’t like it. It was too much of a rush job. About 50% is good. But it is not integrated well. I am giving it a thorough shakedown before print. I’ll bet I can say everything I mean to say in 3/4 the words, maybe even 2/3. Part of the problem is that the ebook doesn’t know what it wants to be. Is it a chronicler of events? The event are truly horrific, and they get worse by the day. Or

So far so good. Introduction pared from 7000 words to 4100. Chapter 1 from 6500 to 4800, with no harm done to the narrative. In fact, it is enhanced by being less obscured with what is superfluous.

‪I estimated a word reduction of Chapter 6 (Statecraft) of 50%. In fact it is even more, 52%, 11400 words is reduced to 5460. Far too rambling previously. Tightening it up. 

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The Introduction to Dear Mr. P originally contained 7000 words. Now it is 5100.

A few of those deleted words may find their way into the Afterword, which has now become the Foreword.

....

Somebody should have told me the ebook was no good. Why didn’t someone tell me?

”Bob, give me your gun!” the Joker ordered, and the thug, faithful to the end, immediately forked it over.

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What to do with the Education chapter of Dear Mr Putin? It’s such a mess. Far too undisciplined. Just because comments look good in one setting doesn’t mean they are freely transferable. 

Put it on the back burner for a time? It may benefit from some new gleanings from the #michaelshermer Great Courses lectures on skepticism.

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