Friday, May 20, 2011

Sarah? Ronnie?

Recently I competed my first book, well really my third, but the first two were thrown in to the pile of failed attempts. But this was not a failed attempt. I felt pretty good early on that one day it could be published. It’s hard to describe, but about a third of the way into any writing project I can usually tell if it is something that is worth continuing. Anyways, after working away for about six months I found myself at the last chapter. Then the thought hit me, who do I choose to read and help correct it? It would have to be someone that could handle the sometimes rough side of life I write about. My sister Laura is typically the one that reads over my work. She has an open mind about any topic I write about and can see the good in any tragic story I’ve put together, no matter how bizarre the characters. But this was different, it had a pretty long and descriptive sex scene between the main characters, something I felt too uncomfortable having my sister read and correct. So, after days of pondering who would I ask to read my work, it came to me, Sarah. She was someone I had known for over twenty years and she was also a writer. So, I contacted her and she agreed to read and correct the book. Then as I was getting ready to click send it hit me. The main character was named Sarah. My God, I thought, I can’t send this to her. This will surely make her uncomfortable reading the sex scene. Especially since the main character not only shared the same name as her, they both had bright red curly hair. Remember, Sarah my friend had not come into the picture until the book had already been written. So, no big deal, I thought. I’ll use world search and breeze through the thirty something thousand words, replacing Sarah with Ronnie. At this point, if I would have read the book one more time, I thought I might go insane. No really, Insane… After competing the name change, I emailed Sarah the book, not thinking too much about it until one day it popped back up in my inbox. In the email she said that she liked the book and that all the corrections were in red. I wrote back thanking her and then began the long and tedious task of the rewrite. So, out of all of the Sarahs the computer happened to miss changing to Ronnie the first would appear in the sex scene halfway through the book. My heart sank as I read “Sarah?” then saw the name “Ronnie?” in red lettering. I thought, how am I going to explain this one? So, I sat down and wrote my friend Sarah to explain, and with all the grace in the world she wrote back saying no big deal. She totally understood. I knew then I had picked the right person for the job. At the time I was horrified, but now it’s pretty damn funny…

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