Sunday, October 01, 2006

Redaction Reaction

A nightmare? An anticipatory demon? A catatonic fit? Nervous prostration?

Alright, I exaggerate.

Yesterday I finished the thirty-ninth "final" edit and printed out the WIP.

On page 172, discovered I had written "forth" instead of "fourth."
On page 268, realized time had been expressed in standard, not the 24-hour clock and that the character would have used the second method automatically.
I contemplated again if use of the word "kidney" in the 12th century was an anachronism and if it was, could I get away with it?
I don't even want to talk about commas and periods that slide out from under quotation marks when I'm not looking.

Did you know that some printers scream when they are jammed?
Did you know that a heavy package of good bond can waddle across an office and hide its portly self behind the documents chest in the most obscure corner of your office? (Insert frantic hysterical fit until discovered and recovered.)

The pages smile at me, boldly black-hearted on pristine white - and all the time they hide villians. I know there are others errors and omissions lurking within those pages, I just can't find them.
But I have achieved a state of grim fatalism.
Now, if I can just figure out where I put those American stamps...


Ric said...

Ah, yes, and after the thirteenth edit is complete, saved on this computer and the extra disc that hides in the bank vault safety deposit box, you discover that the hero has green eyes that somehow changed to blue by the tenth chapter.
And you realize how great computers are, because, back in the days you started writing, it was hours and hours of typing to fix such things.

Probably the reason there are so many more 'writers' out there today. It has gotten so much easier. Just search for green and fix them - doesn't take forever like it used to.

Sorry I didn't come back yesterday, the internet was acting up on this end. Hate it when I miss sex...

EA Monroe said...

Congrats on getting your wip jammed through the printer! I'm surprised the machine didn't catch fire! Did you find the stamps? If you did, here's my address... I can't wait to read your novel! Despite the nightmare, it's always a sense of accomplishment just to get finished with an edit. Don't forget to use Word's "find" function for those pesky ", and ". Good luck!

Bernita said...

Wasn't there a model that had its own little correcto-tape, Ric?
Which, of course always ran out when one needed it most.
Seems I'll have to do another Ye Olde Euphemism post, just for you...

I. Sweated. Blood. EA!
Happened about page 260.
Thank you. Afraid you'll be in for a long wait, likely - this was for an agent.
"Find"? Oh yes, I'll have to figure out how that little tool works one of these days - I tend to trust my bleeding eyes more than the machine.

spy scribbler said...

Ric, I don't think I ever woulda been a writer without the invention of computers. I have no idea how they managed!

Congratulations, Bernita!

Bernita said...

My Spy, they managed because there was no other way.

kmfrontain said...

Yay for finishing and going for the stamps!

Don't worry about sliding commas, Bernita. These are why publishers have proofreaders, to glue them in place. If you have most of the manuscript in good shape, that's what will count.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Karen.
Those petty things, like sliding commas, are an annoyance. I focus on them at this point to keep from gibbering over whether the story sucks, whether I should have hammered this or that connection, is this or that strong enough...

Gabriele C. said...

Lol, when I reread my MA thesis, I wonder how I ever got an A- on that error-infested crap.

The fate of a writer's life ....

Ric said...

Lo and Behold! I recall the correction tape. Deep in one of my drawers is a package of carbon paper.
Remember typing the final copy of manuscript and making a carbon copy - those were a real pain to use correctype on.

For those youngsters out there - this was before the invention of copying machines. Or at least the availablity of them.

Early Kinko type establishements were fun too. I recall going to 4 places in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, who had room size Xerox machines to get two copies of my manuscript. Three machines were down at any given time.

Now, if my $30 printer blows up, it's still cheaper to buy a new one than head off to the copy shop.

Bernita said...

I broke down and hired a professional typist for mine, Gabriele.
A wise move at the time.

Gabriele C. said...

Hehe, I was the first among my comrades to have a PC, I typed the examn papers for others. :)

I suppose typos lurk everywhere, and by the beings above us, I've found enough of them in published books as well. ;)

Dave said...

Ten times a year from 1991 until 2004, I put out the meeting notice that consisted of the same information:
Engineering group name,
meeting notice,
talk title,
talk author,
author's business,
date and time,
synopsis of talk (provided by author),
2 sentence bio of author,
cost and contact for reservations...

And guess what? every month I had someone proof read the damn thing because I kept making mistakes.

Editing is only finished when you're dead.

I'm reminded of EE Cummings who revised his poetry in his old age.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I hope the mailing is fruitful!

Sam said...

Progress is great - I don't know how I used to do it on my old typewriter, lol.
Kidneys were well known in the thirteenth century - so I don't think it would be an anachronism.

Bernita said...

Shudders over the memory of carbon paper, Ric.

But it's a case of "do as I say, not as I do," with editors, Gabriele.

That makes me feel better, Dave, but geesh, I hate finding stupid mistakes.

Thank you, Bonnie! Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Oh yes, Sam, I kiss my computer and printer every night - same as I used to my washer and dryer.
I find myself in occasional state of paranoia over things like a "kidney-thrust" and just have to resign myself to the fact that I'll tick someone's authenticity clock somewhere.

Lisa Hunter said...

Congratulations, Bernita. Hope the book sells fast.

M.E Ellis said...

That horse in that picture is so freaky I wish I hadn't seen it.