Things lost

Last night I was reading away at the freshly printed manuscript of Shara, preparing it to send to Scrybe Press. I kept running into these little mistakes and wondering why they were still there. And then I came to the rape chapter, where Shara trashes Mark’s Trans Am after she leaves him at the motel, and there was a serious problem.

See, the copy editor 3F used sent me chunks of Shara for editing. She’d send a chunk with her suggested changes, I’d go through it and send it back. The publisher then reassembled the pieces into a PDF that went to the printer. After publication I began asking for an MS Word file of the edited manuscript. Eventually I got what might be the edited manuscript. That’s what I made my recent changes in … adding the rune the Pack members are branded with, etc.

I learned last night that is not the MS Word version of the printed book. I did most of the editing on my laptop, an old clunker without a modem. I knew the chunks were on there, so I got it out, found all the pieces and put them together in one manuscript. Problem — The chunks have the suggested edits, but not the edits I made. Where are the pieces with the edits I made? I have no freakin’ idea. I had to have saved them to a floppy disk and transferred them back to the desktop to e-mail them. Can’t find any such disk. The desktop had a hard drive crash last summer, so anything saved there was lost.

Needless to say, I was at a pretty low point last night. My last hope was my old “Give the Gift of Lycanthropy” campaign where I gave away PDF copies of the book in 2003. I went to bed hoping I still had a PDF on the work computer … and that our graphic designer would be able to do something with it. I did, and she was. All is not perfect. She was able to save the italics and such, but the text has thousands of hard returns in it because it’s formatted to be as wide as the book pages.

So now I get to go through the book line-by-line taking out the hard returns. Then I can rewrite the new stuff I wanted to add. Then I can proofread the whole thing, send it to Scrybe, wait for the galley, and proofread it again. Remember, Scrybe planned to release Shara about a month after Call to the Hunt, which will begin appearing this week. (In fact, I should get my copies of CttH today.)

In other news, the dreaded centennial photo went off very smoothly today. I’ve seen the contact sheets and they look pretty good. One group wouldn’t think out, so one zero looks fat on one side, but oh well. I also just realized the job announcement for the new senior director position here has already been taken down, adding to my suspicion that it was just a formality and the VP has had somebody in mind for it all along. Politics.

0 responses to “Things lost”

  1. A suggestion
    Try this: do a search and replace on two consecutive hard returns (end of line + blank between paragraphs), changing them to something unique (a combination of characters unlikely to be in your manuscript, like %%). Then search and replace on hard returns, replacing them with a blank space to delete them. Then search and replace on %% to change them back to paragraph breaks.

    • Re: A suggestion
      Ah, but there aren’t two consecutive hard returns. No blanks between the paragraphs. It would be nice if there were, as I would at least know where the paragraphs really end just by glancing.
      Somebody says he has software that might help. We’ll see.
      Thanks for the suggest, Bev. (And Stephen King fans reading this who don’t know who Bev is … you’d do well to look him up.)

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