Tuesday, February 15, 2011

rereading your work via a new medium

I know that agents and editors have been reading manuscripts (or fulls, as they're now called, apparently) on some sort of e-reader for years, but writers? Not so much. That's all changing, of course, thanks to the ubiquitous nature of tablets, Nooks and Kindles. So, not wanting to be left in the electronic dust, I bellied up to my own Amazon email and sent myself my manuscript, pdf'd and formatted to single space.

This was a leap of faith for me, I must confess. My wafer-thin Kindle, whilst much easier to tote on the plane to Arizona yesterday, seems to resemble a "book" as much as does a stone tablet, or a message-in-a-bottle, even. But when I slipped it out of a slim pocket of my satchel and slid the power button to on, and saw my pages illuminated in front of me, I have to admit, I felt somewhat delighted.

But here's the real take-away. Reading my book in its e-form, brought a whole new layer of intake. Like a former mentor had suggested in his counsel to read a manuscript in a new environment to take advantage of the sensual stimulation that ensues and sharpens the editorial muscle, viewing THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES through the interface of an e-reader filtered my "seeing" of it through a slightly alternate neural pathway.

My notes revealed new edits, and my overall impression of the book took on a larger context somehow--one separated a tad more from that of the creator.

And another cool function--because the Kindle offers a percentage read, I can more easily diagnose structure and plot points. Pretty cool, actually.


  1. Anonymous3:33 PM

    this is good, good stuff.

    i formatted parts of my MSS in a PDF and even that made a difference (vs. just reading the word document print-out).

    i like this idea even better. thank you for the heads up.

  2. Interesting perspective, Suzy. Love it.

  3. Suzy - Very good idea, thank you for sharing it. I'd love to try it. I do have a Kindle but ... how does one get an Amazon email?

  4. Hi guys, thanks for the comments! Maria, if you register your Kindle, they give you an email. It may even already be linked to your Amazon account and you didn't know it (as was the case with me, actually).

    First check to see if you did indeed register your Kindle, then go to Amazon and check your settings.

    What a world we live in, eh? All the possibilities...


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