Monday, February 12, 2007

Sharron--A True Hero of the Arts


When I received the first galleys of my story collection to proof, I was compelled to read all eleven stories again, looking for typos and errors. When you write a story (or novel), you have to read and reread the piece many times, from first glimmerings, through many drafts, and much polishing to the final typeset galleys. Generally, you don't read the story when it comes out in print because by then you're sick of it and would feel satisfied if you never saw the story again in this life.

In addition, I updated "We Were Out of Our Minds with Joy" for inclusion in the novel, so I must have read that one well over 50 times. It's truly hard to read something so many times.

After the first read-through, I returned the galley. Then I realized that the manuscripts I had supplied Subterranean Press had never been reconciled to the published version of the stories. And there are always subtle edits done in the final copyediting. So I was faced with going through the eleven stories yet another time, this time comparing them word for word against the published versions.

My heart was not up to the task. I knew it would crush me, so I sent out a plea for help to the Borough Library SF reading group I belong to. And this young woman answered the call and volunteered to do the final read through for me. She may have saved my sanity; therefore, I pronounce Sharron Albert a True Hero of the Arts!

Thank you.

13 comments:

David S. said...

Oh that's rich. I came across this blog entry while desperately trying to avoid reading through the latest (and I really hope the last!) draft of a short story I'm writing. I am so sick of it, it seemed like such a good idea when I first thought of it; but now I can't stand the thought of reading it all over yet again. They all seem to go like that.

I'm so glad it's a problem for the pros as well! 50 times... Oh my god, I'd go completely insane.

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Michael said...

David --

There are tools for comparing files such as Beyond Compare. I am not a professional writer (nor unprofessional) but I do quite a bit of document comparison.

http://www.scootersoftware.com

(I am not associated with the company. It's just a cool product.)

Michael

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