Friday, September 24, 2010

The Singular Satisfaction of RIPPING Notes off a Manuscript

     So, I posted earlier in the week about receiving the typeset "First Pass Pages" of my 2011 YA novel Cleopatra's Moon. 

     As you can see from the photo on the left, it looked, basically, like someone with a Post-It Note obsession forgot to take their meds that day.

     In reality, it was all the work of my brilliant editor at Arthur A. Levine Books, Cheryl Klein. Did I mention she was thorough, too?

So what was on most of the notes? Often Just questions. Other times, flags about Style or word usage. And what Was the most Frequent question/issue to Arise? Why, yes, you're Right! It Was about my weird and troubling Habit of being Terribly inconsistent about capitalization. How Did you Guess?

     So it turns out I sometimes capitalized certain words like priestess or goddess (as well as countless other words), and sometimes I. just. Didn't. Couldn't tell you why either. My theory is That I have pinky-finger Tourette's, a syndrome I only just now, I mean, Learned about.

     Still, I went through every single note on the manuscript, ripping each off with a wild and guttural, "YES!" when I finished.

   Okay, not really (couldn't disturb the cat sleeping on my lap after all). But I did finish it all just in time for the last FedEx pick-up last night. I sent back the manuscript in all its beautiful, pristine, and Post-It note-less glory!
Ta Da!!!!!!

     And then, very soon, we will go through it all yet again, not once, but twice! In the meantime, All I can Say is thank-gOd for editors Like Cheryl, who not only Find our Strange little Writing quirks, but are infinitely patient when they Stumble over them again. And again. and Again.

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Unknown said...

Interesting!! I could see how that would be satisfying.

When collaborating on articles in a work context we all track our changes and make annotations within the software provided - which does not allow us the singular satisfaction of physically ripping the reminders off!


Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

We used "Track Changes" too, Hasan, while it was in .doc form. Once it moves to typesetting, we are obliged to do things the old fashioned way. Hence the ripping riff!

Tracy Barrett said...

Wow, you're speedy!

Cheryl said...

You know, I do love Post-Its madly . . . and maybe I did forget to take my medication that day. :-)

You did a great job!

Unknown said...

Cheers Vicky. That's interesting how the next step in the printing process involves a technological regression of several centuries!

Thank you for these glimpses at an author's experience!

Any plans for a digital/kindle edition of this book so your international fans don't miss out?!


Jane said...

Your story put a smile on my face :) That's really all I can say. Thanks!


Karen Strong said...

How exciting! You must feel a real sense of accomplishment.

It's really happening. Eek! I can't wait to see it as a real live book!

Bearded Lady said...

ha, that is hilarious. Your manuscript looks a bit like some of mine. I am always neurotic about what color pen to use too. Red looks so threatening. Green looks too serious. I always picture my editor and copy editing laughing at my bubble pink color notes.