Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Latest ping-pong score

Just back from a 48-hr tête à tête with my author (see July 23). Normally we exchange emails since he may be on a Greek island, down in London or even in Nepal. This time he was in his Welsh fastness not too far away.

The process is like an ancient game of ping-pong. I edit Chapter 22 for the eighth time, he looks at what I’ve done, reacts and bats it back. After eighteen months we’re into the law of diminishing returns but there’s still work to do. What makes a difference is being able to pick verbally at the bones of language instead of having to write out all the steps. Completion is tentatively set for next month.

Such encounters are sheer luxury for technological reasons. Each of us has the MS on a laptop. We chat, we ponder, we change things – independently yet linked. No peering over each other’ shoulder, no swapping bits of paper. As I’ve said, I admire those who write stuff with their grandfather’s Parker fountain pen but I sure as hell don’t want to join them. Long live the CPU or whatever succeeds it.

3 comments:

Plutarch said...

I second your approval of word- processing. As you may recall, I was not good with a typeswriter, let along my grandfather's fountain pen.
I like the way you refer to "my author", as some refer to their publishers. But then I thought, though you didn't intend it that way that you might be a character in novel, of which the author holds your fate in his hands.

Plutarch said...

Typewriter. Good lunch.

marja-leena said...

Ditto! I still shudder at the memory of university days and numerous essays, handscribbled, cut into sections and glued and reglued, then rewritten... or horrors, typed. I'm still a terrible typist, er keyboarder but it sure is easier editing with a computer!