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Migrating Characters

To the fantasy readers and writers, recommendations needed

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Apr 19, 2018
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An editor-typesetter’s nightmare: This is an actual image of the French novelist Honoré de Balzac’s own revisions of a galley proof of one of his stories. In those days much editing was done after the initial typesetting had taken place. Nowadays, thankfully, editing is most often done on a manuscript pulled up on a computer screen and completed prior to any typography. A typesetter today who had to wrestle with such a page would swiftly commit himself or herself to the nearest funny farm for a rest cure.big balzac page copy.jpg
 
When I think of how I, and other writers, agonise over the state of their manuscript, doing multiple trawls to correct word repetition, punctuation, grammar and readability, it's amazing how old time authors got away with such messy hard copy.

My favourite literary monster for terrifying his publisher is Thomas Wolfe. I first read him in my early 20s and it was like being overwhelmed by sensory description, so cloyingly dense were his observations. Much of that was down to the hard work of his editor, who was presented with hundreds of pages, scraps of paper, cigarette packets and napkins with the story scrawled on. The original manuscript of an autobiographical novel called O Lost was 1,100 pages long, some 330,000 words, which was chopped down to 544 pages and retitled Look Homeward Angel—becoming a great success.

Wolfe dumped so much disorganised writing on his publisher, that after he died, his editor assemble two complete novels from the manuscripts!
 
Yes and along with the difference in author’s practice and behavior there was a difference in expectations of the typesetter, editor, and publisher. It all works out.
 
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Migrating Characters

To the fantasy readers and writers, recommendations needed

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