Monday, October 11, 2010

Transcription of a Memoir

I mentioned in my last post that I had transcribed a manuscript for a friend of mine.

Seeing as that involves hours each day for over a month, followed by (in this case) a seven-hour stretch of formatting, it's not something I would do for just anyone, or for just any manuscript.

But this manuscript was extraordinary. It was a memoir, and I admit that it's probably not publishable in the traditional sense. It's mostly bare facts--true story telling only happens in snippets. The narrative jumps around and, at times, could be considered unreliable. Some of the structure isn't exactly perfect--I altered it a little as I went, correcting obvious errors, but I wanted the finished story to remain as true to the original, hand written manuscript as possible.

And let me tell you about that manuscript! It's called "An Angel's Apprenticeship", and is the memoir of a man whose precognition and supernatural experiences have often put him in direct conflict with the police. He has been jailed in multiple states (and I mean four plus) and two countries, and has been drugged out of his mind in a mental institution...until he made a daring escape! He's also fought for his life in the streets of San Francisco, going hand-to-hand with a man he first met in prison, during a "scuffle" with the guards. He met and loved some beautiful women, lived the high life and lived on the street. He sees his amazing life and chilling visions as a sort of trial by fire, during which he has learned everything he needed to know in order to deliver what he believes to be a life-or-death message to the world.

You don't have to believe in anything supernatural to be engrossed by this story. It's the voice that makes it fascinating...and that holds true regardless of what you decide about the narrator's reliability. In some cases, that could even increase the fascination.

At any rate, I had a lot of fun transcribing it. Putting it on Createspace, though, has not been fun at all. How the hell do you "imbed a font", again?

I was originally going to put this on Lulu...then I heard that Createspace produced the same product but at less cost to the consumer. I don't know...I may still go with Lulu for the e-book version. But, ultimately, that's going to be up to the book's actual author. However it's produced, I hope to be able to announce a low-cost way for everyone to read this manuscript soon. It's worth the effort!


  1. I hope your friend appreciates all the effort you've gone to, sounds like amazing read though!

  2. You certainly are a good friend to do all that for someone. The MS sounds cubist; intriguing. I look forward to seeing your conclusions regarding the better publishing route once you're done.

  3. Thanks, Mohamed. And some post soon, I'll go into detail about what it takes to publish via Createspace vs Lulu. At the very least, everyone can get a laugh out of my lack of computer skillz. :)