lunes, 18 de mayo de 2015

Dan Otsuki Guest Post

A Funny Thing that Happened on the Way to Getting Published

Drunken edits/drunk reading. This past December and January when I was home from college for winter break, I was tasked with doing my final round of edits before sending my manuscript off to my publisher for more official edits. I’d gone through the whole thing two or three times by this point, and while my editor can surely tell you that I still missed quite a bit, I was feeling pretty good about things. It was late at night and I’d enjoyed a few glasses of scotch earlier in the night with my father, but as he’d gone to bed, I’d continued the now solo festivities in his honor.
Now I’d like to clarify, before I move forward, that I don’t think editing your work while you’re under the influence of anything is by any means a good choice. That being said, it was one in the morning, I was drunk, and I thought reading some of my stories would be a fantastic idea.
I was still in the editing mindset (i.e. I was reading aloud to see how my sentences sounded, not just how they read). Drunk me thought this was absolutely hilarious. While reading, however, I shocking stumbled over a few sentences. I’d go back over them, repeat them until I got them right, but several of them never really came out right. I thought that was probably not a good sign. So, in my infinite intoxicated wisdom, I inserted parentheticals next to the sentences I was having trouble with and edited while drunk. I’m thankful for the clairvoyance to not delete the sentences that I found to be suspect, but when I woke up the following day, I found my stories open with highlighted parenthetical changes beside the questionable sentences.
Surprisingly, I found many of the sentences I had trouble with while drunk actually were some of the more clunky sounding sentences when I read sober. Now, most if not all of the edits I made while I was drunk were horrible, but they did flag my attention to unnecessary passive voice and weird diction and syntax. Honestly, it was pretty helpful, and at the very least, it’s something to laugh about.

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