Getting To Know Each Other

I got some proofing done over the weekend as hoped, but didn’t get close to finishing the manuscript. I discovered with the first two novels that proofing always takes longer than I think it will. It seems Distances will follow the same path.

As I wrote yesterday, I use the iPad to “read” the book aloud and I follow wearing my headphones. To do so, I upload a .pdf of the novel onto the Kindle app. While I’m listening, as well as reading along myself, I mark up necessary corrections too.

Listening to the book being read helped me catch – just yesterday – at least half a dozen overlooked words, such as “the,” “an,” and “but”; they are the sort of words you may accidentally omit when writing, but which your eye doesn’t necessarily spot as missing when you proofread. Ah, but you definitely HEAR when they are missing: their absence is jarring to the ear.

It’s a new writing universe.

Free Stock Photo: Illustration of people in front of a store.
Free Stock Photo: Illustration of people in front of a store.

Distances will have a couple of new characters too. One, in particular, becomes prominent. And they are – again – somewhat distinctive when compared to those we’ve known up to this point.

I like that. We live in such a mixed up world in so many ways. One of my main interests and recurring themes I look to address in the novels is about getting to know each other.

Drinks at the Algonquin. [Photo by me, 2013.]
Drinks at the Algonquin. [Photo by me, 2013.]

There can be lots of sizing up and humor early on especially. We see a bit of that here in Passports. In a hotel bar in Manhattan that bears a striking literary resemblance to a well-known, real one, a Texan named “Doug” has decided to introduce himself to a group he hears nearby, shortly after “Mark” has met “Virginie” for the first time….

Excerpt from
Excerpt from “Passports,” on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.

We have to cope with stereotypes. Others view us their own ways, based on their own experiences, pre-conceptions, and perhaps even based entirely on what they’ve seen in media or read someplace. And we too usually return the favor.

For a writer, that is endlessly fascinating and challenging stuff to get on a page.

One other thing I’ve also noticed. The iPad “voice assist” says “Isabelle” as “Aye-sah-bell.” That becomes extremely grating after a while. 😉 (I don’t recall the proper original Kindle device doing that. I accidentally broke my first Kindle, and the one I have now doesn’t “read” aloud.)

Have a good [grumble, grumble] Monday, wherever you are in the world. 🙂