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Tapping The Editorial Mind - Michael M Jones

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September 24th, 2010


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04:18 pm - Tapping The Editorial Mind
So for those of you who might remember the whole Scheherazade's Facade project, let me assure you it's still in the works, simmering away while the stars align themselves for the conditions needed for release.

Now, this isn't to suggest I'm a slacker or anything, because oh no, we don't know anything about writers/editors who get distracted by shiny things and hey, squirrel!

As I was saying. I'm faced with turning thirteen stories into one manuscript. Sure, they all come in as RTF files, but apart from that, they're in a variety of fonts and type sizes, with the odd bit of formatting, and individual quirks. Does anyone out there have any advice on how to blend them all into one cohesive, sexy-looking manuscript? Is there a book, or a secret set of instructions online, or even just some handy tips and tricks? (FWIW, I do have an editor on tap, who I can ask, but he charges me in beer and has a life of his own, really he does.) Or is really, as I suspect, just a case of taking each story, adjusting the font and size and formatting individually, slapping it into one large file, and calling it magic? (If so, sorry to bother you, assume I'm talking to myself and/or gone slightly eccentric. Again.)

Until/unless I get answers, I'll be doing it the hard way. With gnomes. And power tools.

Thanks, Internet!
Current Mood: Squirrel!

(13 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:anghara
Date:September 24th, 2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
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Personally the way I'd do it would be to stick everything into one long MS document, select ALL, and then pick a single font and formatting to apply to all of it. After that, you're going to have a homogenised set of stories without doing Every. Single. Story. By. Itself.

Of course, it all depends on what you want to do with all of it at this point...
[User Picture]
From:oneminutemonkey
Date:September 24th, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
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That was my thought as well. What I want to do, of course, is make it into a REAL LIVE BOOK. But that requires a few factors over which I have no control.

I just found myself wondering what these things look like when they leave the editor and go to the publisher, before they get even more cleaned up and turned into ARCs and stuff. Hey, I'm learning as I go, that's a good thing!
[User Picture]
From:thunderpigeon
Date:September 26th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
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That's pretty much what Sarah and I did for Trafficking in Magic/Magicking in Traffic. Although there's also the issue of getting consistent formatting on things like em dashes (we went with the double hyphen, to be fixed by the typesetter, because these often get lost in transition from MS to ), italics (we went with underlining, again to be fixed by the typesetter, for the same reason), and placement of author's name and title (I think we're going to put author's name first and title underneath--I haven't done this yet).

I recently had a small issue with a publisher in a story where one line of text changed size as the speaking got louder--and this got dropped in the formatting process, and I had to ask them to put it back in. So you may want to look for things like that.

Hope this helps.
[User Picture]
From:melissajm
Date:September 24th, 2010 09:47 pm (UTC)
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I've been wondering how that was going. Thanks for the update!
[User Picture]
From:oneminutemonkey
Date:September 24th, 2010 09:55 pm (UTC)
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I sent out a "no news is, well, no news" update a few weeks ago to everyone involved, using whatever email addresses I had on file. I wish I had more to report. :(
[User Picture]
From:melissajm
Date:September 25th, 2010 12:16 am (UTC)
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I'm just glad it's still happening.
[User Picture]
From:oneminutemonkey
Date:September 25th, 2010 12:24 am (UTC)
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Come Hell or high water. I have such an amazing lineup of stories waiting to be unleashed upon the world. I'm so very thankful that everyone's expressed faith in me and a willingness to wait while we see what happens.
[User Picture]
From:melissajm
Date:September 25th, 2010 12:33 am (UTC)
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I'm looking forward to it. It's a neat premise.
[User Picture]
From:jkarabella
Date:September 25th, 2010 09:00 am (UTC)
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What word processing software do you use?
[User Picture]
From:laurenpburka
Date:September 26th, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC)
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Having done the anthology thing, I say that you look up the publisher's requirements for manuscripts and apply them one by one to a document composed of all the individual stories. I find using my wp's styles feature to help a lot.

Two things will happen if you mess up. Either you will get back a message from the publisher telling you all the things you did wrong, or they won't notice and your book will go to press like that.
[User Picture]
From:laurenpburka
Date:September 26th, 2010 06:41 pm (UTC)
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I don't think I made one thing clear. This is a process done by hand, so build some macros or scripts in your WP of choice for the next time.
[User Picture]
From:oneminutemonkey
Date:September 27th, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)
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Well, this is mainly just a "Hey, I want to see the completed thing" from the publisher, so if there are any weird quirks, I'll have room to fix them. I still want to wrap it up in a pretty bow and deliver it with homemade cookies. :)
[User Picture]
From:laurenpburka
Date:September 27th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
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Make a few paragraph styles and apply them consistently.

Don't put in any special characters except italics (or underlines, your publisher will have a preference.

Remove all curly quotes.

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