You write. You write. You write some more. And you never think about TIME. You don’t think about time when you’re writing, and you certainly never think about the time it takes someone to read it. It just never comes up, until you have the wonderful experience of recording part of your book on tape. (For you people who were born after 1980, tape is what we used to record audio on before it got all digital-y. )
You go into the studio, and the engineer sets up a mic. He says, “Okay. Let’s take it from the top.” And all of the sudden, you are speaking the words that you wrote, and the world changes. Suddenly, you’re saying to yourself, “Why did I write that? Oh, God. Did I really put those words together?”
And all of a sudden, all the scary parts of ‘vernacular’ slam into your prose that you’d thought was perfect. You read your work, only to find out that you may have written it as pleasing to the eyes/mind with a somewhat tinny ear. But you forge ahead, because, hey, after all, you’re paying for the time.
So, you get to the point where you decide, “I’m going to adapt a character.” The voice of the book, which heretofore was just some nebulous concept discussed by literature professors and agents who were looking for a reason to turn you down, (“I couldn’t find the voice of the book, so we’ll pass.”), is suddenly a real voice. Punctuation is suddenly the on and off exit ramps of the highway you’re driving people down. And it hits you. “My first chapter is a half hour? Unbelievable. The first chapter of my first book, when you read it, at a human pace, is a half hour! Whoda thunk it?”
The results of this clandestine operation are available at this link: Preview The Eighth Day. Take a listen. Also, check out what I hope will be seen as an innovative new approach, called scrolling (Trademark, patent pending, US patent off., use as directed, call doctor if lasts for more than four hours) which I think a certain percentage of the population will really enjoy. Let me know! And, if you like that one, take a look at this one: Preview The Hammer of God. I’m not applying for the job, I just want to know if you thought it was a job well done and if it’s worth the TIME.