Laurie Sanders of BVS asked the question “Is editing and writing an obvious association?’ I’ll give you one guess what my answer is?
‘What would a suspense thriller writer have that’s of interest to the followers of Black Velvet Seductions’ is another question.
And romance is the answer to that one, of course. Don’t most books have a romance threading its way through the story? I know mine do.
Here’s the link to the interview. Go check it out.
This is week eight in my series What editors do.
This week I ask you two questions. Do you use the spellchecker? Do you think it worthwhile?
I do, on both counts.
I always have it activated and keep a watch for those red wavy lines underneath a word that indicate it could be misspelt. I also check the green wavy lines because they indicate something may be amiss with grammar or punctuation.
The thing is, you can’t rely on it. Why? Because it doesn’t pick up everything, for instance homophones, those words that have the same pronunciation but different spelling and meanings e.g. phased/fazed.
But the spellchecker is a handy item in the editor’s toolbag.
If you do use it do you have the right language selected? You don’t want it set to US English if you’re working in the UK or Australia and vice versa because it will identify words that are spelt differently in those countries, e.g. authorised/authorized.
Next week the editor and client relationship.
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I opened this book with some hesitation because although I’m not a huge reader of fantasy a lot of what I have read recently has been pretty forgettable and ho-hum, if not downright bad. For me, good fantasy is Alice in wonderland, The hobbit, Lord of the rings—that kind of quality read.
A few pages in I was starting to relax. A few more pages I was thinking ‘This is good’. By the end I had come to the opinion that this book could stand alongside Alice and The hobbit.
I could find no fault with either the story or the storytelling. The story is delightful and the telling of it both shows and tells in the appropriate places.
There’s much that to me is original. Yes, there are dragons. Yes, there are unicorns. But then there are the prairie dog wand-makers, there is the hunters’ code which requires a hunter to thank the family of his prey for the gift of the meal, and there are the gifts that each living creature is born with that form the basis for their path through life. The last paralleling our world where we say, but don’t always believe, that everyone has a talent, if only we can find it.
I liken it to Alice and The hobbit because I believe it will transcend an age grouping for readership. I can see advanced 12 year olds loving this book as much as their parents and grandparents.
Given the ending, which leaves the story incomplete, I foresee a sequel, perhaps more. I look forward to them.
Here’s the link to the book on Amazon.
This is week seven in my series What editors do.
This week is about the roles of editors, designers, artists, illustrators, typesetters and photographers.
In the days before computers when we worked on hard copy, when pasting up literally meant pasting copy and illustrations to paper—I know it’s difficult for some of you to remember back that far, you probably weren’t even a twinkle in your father’s eye—editors, designers, artists, illustrators and typesetters had clearly defined roles.
Editors edited then marked up final copy for typesetting, designers chose the look of the publication—by that I mean the layout, colour scheme etc.—typesetters followed the marked-up copy instructions to render text into its final form, and artists, illustrators and photographers provided artwork for covers and any internal illustrations.
Designers, artists and illustrators tended to work for graphic design firms that contracted out their services. Typesetters were generally employed by printers because it was the printer who rendered the pasted-up copy into final artwork. Photographers, in my experience, generally worked for themselves and were hired when needed.
Since computerisation the roles have blurred. There are no hard and fast rules about who does what.
An author can now do everything up to the printing stage and often does, especially indie authors. And as we all know, results can vary.
In the government and corporate context two people only are usually involved after the author hands a job on: the editor and the graphic designer, often working together. The editor edits the text but can also be expected to format (apply styles) a document ready for the designer.
The designer typesets, designs the look and depending on their artistic skills either produces or incorporates illustrations. They also design and produce the cover and produce final artwork which is provided to the printer.
That’s not to say everyone else has gone the way of the dodo.
Graphic designer is now a catch-all term for designers, artists, illustrators and typesetters. Graphic designers now perform all of those roles. And photographers will always be needed.
Next week the spellchecker.
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This is week six in my series What editors do.
And this week I’m giving away a secret.
It doesn’t matter what you read about getting out a quality book all advice seems to say this: that you must have an editor go over your final copy. Not only to pick up all the typos but also because they will point out any shortcomings. I couldn’t agree more with this.
But because I know that authors like to go over their work ad nauseam whether they have an editor or not, I am going to add my tip, one that I gave you in week four on proofreading. And that is to print out your document and use a ruler when you are proofreading it.
But that’s not the editor’s secret I promised you.
The professional editor’s secret is this.
When a manuscript has been edited and typeset, in a publishing unit they will then do a one-on-one read.
That consists of one editor reading out loud from the last copy before it was typeset.
The text will mirror the text in the typeset document.
This read includes everything: capitals, paragraph breaks, widows/orphans, etc. It also includes formatting—by that I mean bold and italics, indents, justification, spacing etc.
The second editor will check the typeset document against what is being read.
They both use rulers to focus on the line being read.Try it. In my experience you find heaps of typos.
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Twelve short stories encompassing, as the title says, the ancient and the modern; Jewish stories full, to varying degrees, of every feeling known to humankind. I liked very much the quotes that prefaced six.
Some stories I loved. Elijah’s coins is a beautiful story of faith, love and loss; And so they danced is mesmerising, a short captured moment in time that manages to reveal what might have been; The sunflower mesmerising also but leading to shock; and Kapparot a fairy tale of curiosity and where it can lead.
Some disappointed me. Café is one that left me dissatisfied; Tenuous webs was a snippet and also unsatisfying; and Addiction, obsession, love I admit to skimming several pages that discuss the different aspects of love.
The quasi-biblical stories—Jacob’s ladder and Tiny slivers from a silver horn—are well told.
The tales of war and human carnage were not my favourites but these being stories from a Jewish perspective some might believe them to be necessary to round out what is offered.
To me they differ in writing style quality, some as I say are mesmerising while others seem clumsily written. But I concede that this may be a deliberate delivery for the type of story being told.
But overall, if you are a short story fan, this book will not disappoint.
Here’s the link to the book on Amazon: Ancient tales, modern legends
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This is week five in my series What editors do.
In past weeks I have explained the three levels of edit: the substantive edit, the copy edit and proofreading.
When undertaking substantive and copy edits I use style sheets to keep track of everything that is happening in the document. Whether I use one when proofreading depends on the length and complexity of the document.
If style sheets were worth money, to an editor they’d be gold.
A style sheet allows you to keep track of everything stylistically within a document. This list isn’t exhaustive but it would typically include notes of:
- preferred spelling—if a word can be spelled more than one way
- whether initial capitals are used, for instance in publication titles
- when italics and bolding are to be used. (Underlining is generally not used in publications; bold, italics, type size and spacing are used to highlight text)
- what words are being hyphenated
- acronyms—first occurrences
- short forms—e.g. legislation
- word contractions
- heading levels: typeface, size, spacing, bolding etc.
Anything, in fact, that is repeated and needs to be consistent throughout the document should be noted so the editor doesn’t rely on memory.
Next week the editor’s secret.
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Morgen doesn’t just post a blog or interview — she interacts, questions and comments, making what I say sound pretty awesome!
Here’s the link to the interview: Alana Woods with Morgen Bailey
Call back tomorrow because because I’m her guest blogger.
I loved the idea of this companion set of journals so much I bought it immediately.
I have lived in a dozen homes in my life—buying and selling being the way my husband and I thought to make a dollar. We have owned eight and rented others while building. Once in a while I’ll test my brain by recalling addresses, dates and events linked to each one.
As soon as I saw these journals I realised they were what I needed. And I love how, in the Look Inside pages on Amazon, the author has mocked up an example chapter to show just how creative you can be with your own copies of the journals.
The idea that with This house, when we move, we can leave a record for the new owners of who has been there before them and what they did and why, is a very evocative one.
And with Our homes it means never having to try to remember where and when again because now it will all be written down for posterity. What a lovely heirloom to leave our children and grandchildren!
Here’s a link to the journals on Amazon: This house and Our homes
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Check it out: Automaton on Amazon