"The Phobos Experience" copy-edits read-aloud

Published on 2018-03-26

Short form: I'm reading aloud from the 2nd novel in the a short story in the Lady Astronaut universe that's coming out in F&SF. You can join me from 2pm - 4pm Central today, March 26. 

 Watch and listen here: https://zoom.us/j/195373264

Longer form:

Part of my process for my work is that I read the entire thing aloud. I've found that doing this as part of going through copy-edits works well because this is where we are really getting the text into final form.

This particular copy-edit is interesting because you can see comments from both the editor and the copy-editor. They are looking for different things when they read the story. 

 What I'll be doing is:

1. Evaluating the comments to decide which ones to address. Most of them I'll take, but not all.

2. Looking for things that don't make sense either because it got moved around in copy-edits or because it never made sense to begin with. 

2. Repetition. Places where I use the same word five times in a paragraph.

3. Redundancy. Stuff that I've said one too many times.

4. Clunker sentences. Text was developed to convey the spoken language. As an audiobook narrator, let me tell you, a sentence that is difficult to say aloud is usually difficult to parse on the page as well.

5. Continuity errors. Reading aloud causes you to interact with the text on three levels. Text on the page, muscle from speaking, and aural from hearing. So when I say, "she wished for a sweater," I'll remember saying "she pulled on her sweater" from 25 pages back and wonder why she doesn't still have it since this scene takes place only half an hour later. (Yes. Real example.)

So, if you want to sit in on the process, I'll be sharing the screen as I read through it. You'll also get to hear a variety of curses aimed at Past Mary.