Why I hate indexing

I finished Phase One of indexing Screen Enemies of the American Way today: Getting every name in my book (names of people and names of films and TV shows) in alphabetical order. Now, as I go through and proof it, chapter by chapter, I’ll also attach the right page numbers to those names, chapter by chapter.
The proofing isn’t too bad; indexing is truly a tedious, mind-deadening, crawlingly slow activity. Alphabetizing is probably the worst part, but not the only dull part; I now have more than 100 pages of names (in single-column format), and every time I find one in the manuscript I’ll have to find the name, note the page, then find another name, note another page …
Another annoyance is that while indexing, I discover so many damn errors in what I thought was a well-proofed manuscript. I remember when working on Wizard of Oz Catalog, I decided that next time I’d alphabetize the name before I sent in the manuscript, for precisely that reason. Only I wound up in a time crunch and didn’t. Now I wish I had.
But it will be done and off by next Wednesday. Guaranteed. Come what may. Or, at worst, Friday. It goes to the printer in four weeks, so I can’t take it easy (except tonight, the last four hours of alphabetizing wore me down).

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Filed under Screen Enemies of the American Way, Writing

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