Sunday, May 18, 2014


Last week I entertained a few questions at a writing seminar, but this week I have a few of my own.  Namely:

Q:  How does one go about preparing an index for a book?
A:  In my past lives, when my books have reached this critical stage, I have usually paid for an index to be prepared.  (Yes, writers have to pay for indexes and they can be costly.  Heck, I've paid more to have indexes prepared than I have made in royalty on the entire book.)  But this one is going to be a BIG index, and I want to own it.  So . . . I'm going to go with the index cards (old school) and glean through the entire manuscript, making citations as I go, with corresponding page numbers.  At the end, if my theory holds together, I should be able to alphabetize the cards, transpose each card as an index entry, and viola! I'll have my index.  Well, this is how Isaac Asimov prepared his (I've read this methodology in at least two Asimov essays).  It must work.

Q: What happens if I don't get the galley proofs (with edits) and the index of the book back to the editors by deadline?
A:  I won't miss the deadline.  I won't sleep until I finish the book.

Q: Is there are gulag for writers who miss the deadline?
A:  Yes, it is known as Siberia.  But many writers find inspiration in dark places.

Q:  What's the worse thing that can happen to a writer who misses a deadline?
A:  Hey, they don't call it a "deadline" for nothing.  I don't want to think about it.  

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