Friday, September 02, 2011

Snark Hunting

I was away - a short break in Bruges.  Lovely, thanks.  And now I'm busy with the copy edit of In The Mouth of the Whale, dealing with queries and corrections raised by a fantastically sharp-eyed editor with a good and solidly old-fashioned (in the best sense of the world) grounding in grammar who has not only read every word and noted every punctuation mark of the MS, but has queried the correctness and value of each and every one too. It's the first time I've done this kind of thing entirely on screen.  For every other novel and story of mine, I transferred marks made on a printed MS to an electronic file; this time, I'm hunting for overstrikes and red-lined corrections with the help of the search-and-replace function, and recalling a little of the performance anxiety I felt when I transferred from typewriter to word processor. But I get to read the whole thing again, this time in physical form, when the proofs are delivered, and the thing moves another step closer to actuality.

2 Comments:

Blogger PeteY said...

I'm surprised it's taken so long for things to have become largely electronic in fiction publishing. I know writers, esp SF writers, were quite enthusiastic adopters of WP tech in the 80s, and the academic paper submission process was completely electronic (at least in my field, cognitive science) years ago, back when I used to do that sort of thing.

Now, with ebooks taking over, publishers really need to pull their socks up. Gollancz does seem to have grasped the nettle though, and good for them.

September 06, 2011 11:46 PM  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...

The process became mostly electronic much earlier than this across most of the publishing industry; I resisted for as long as I could because spotting goofs is, for me at least, so much easier on paper than on screen.

Proofs are still supplied in printed form, though.

September 07, 2011 9:06 AM  

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