Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Readings in the Park

It's part of my writing process.  Near the final editing stage, I print out a copy of the novel, take it to a nearby park, and then with pen in hand, sitting at a picnic table, I read it aloud.

It takes several days.  My voice gives out after a couple of hours.  But I make many corrections.  Sometimes they are errors that I had missed during dozens of passes, editing on the computer screen.  Sometimes they are perfectly legal sentences, but I can't speak them from beginning to end without tripping over my tongue.  Nearly all had also eluded the beta-readers than had send me marked up copies earlier.

My personal stamina is about two hours, although if people drop by and I stop to chat, it can stretch out into a three hour session.  I know I absolutely have to have a big drink at hand to refresh my throat.  A session covers about fifty pages in final layout format.

This novel, The Copper Room, is being read at Hutto Lake Park, which is close by.  Other times, I've read in other parks.  It's a little windy the past couple of days, so I camp out in the pavilion next to the wall as a wind-break.  Every day, people stop by, so I have a little display that tells people what I'm doing.  Most times, I'll find a convenient break in the text and talk with the visitors, but sometimes, they prefer to just sit and listen.

I find it interesting how tired I get after reading the text for a couple of hours.  It's not labor intensive, but perhaps it's the process of putting emotion into the words.  I don't really know.  It's satisfying, even though it takes several days to work through an entire novel.

I advertise where and when on my Facebook fan page or on Twitter, just in case people are interested.  Two more sessions to go, if you're inclined to show up.

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