Who’s birthday is it today? Here are a couple of hints.
All that I suggest doing to the last half is a) cut as many words as possible, and b) search for places to insert essential featherdusting from pp 1–100, using any device appropriate—including dialogue, in narration, or as flashback. Both are tedious carpentry, neither is revision. Don’t change the story line at all—save that I hope that you will do something about p. 444. I suggest cutting with a ¼” feltpoint (which I use because it blots out completely and leaves no temptation to put it back in later—I use up 4 or 5 on every book MS)—use a feltpoint and cut to the bone…adjectives, adverbs, phrases, subordinate clauses, whole sentences, and sometimes paragraphs, anything that does not move the story line. Then do the whole tedious job over again. And again. And pass it back and forth between you to sweat out the last ounce of fat before you reach the starting gate…without eliminating any of the bone and lean.
He had Ray Bradbury do volunteer work for the Red Cross during WWII…
From Jerry Pournelle on Chaos Manor
Ray was of an age when he was required to take a physical examination for the World War II draft. The story is that he went to the physical and they said what’s the lowest line you can read on that eye chart, and Ray, blinking behind his thick glasses, said “What eye chart?” I can well believe it: I know for a fact that Ray could not recognize me from five feet away unless I spoke. He always remembered friends’ voices, but he could not recognize faces beyond a yard or so.
Ray later told [today’s birthday boy] about his military physical exam, and [he] is said to have said “You didn’t try hard enough.” I have no idea whether this is true – [today’s birthday boy] never told me that story – but it is a matter of public record that Bradbury did volunteer Red Cross work during the war.
By now you’ve probably guessed the answer.
Born 1907: Robert Anson Heinlein