Thursday, November 24, 2005

Editing your own stuff for publication


Earlier today when I was alone at home with Kauto, I happened to take the latest issue of Isku (the self-published crime/adventure fiction magazine I edit) and read some lines of my Joe Novak story, "The Case of the Walking Sticks".

And what did I see:

Pappa laittoi keppinsä tuolia vasten ja otti harmaan takkinsa taskusta ruskean piipun, tupakkapussin ja tulitikut. Pitkillä, kuivuneilla sormillaan hän kääri sätkän ja sytytti sen.

The old man placed his cane against the chair and took a brown pipe, tobacco bag and sticks out of the pocket of his grey coat. With his long, dry fingers he rolled a cigarette and lit it.

My first reaction: "What the..?"

I understood later what had happened. I remembered that the old man smoked pipe in the early versions of the story. Then I thought that he's an old pro, booze smuggler from the twenties and even earlier, used to run liquor for Capone and took a bullet in his leg and still didn't get caught, and he just can't smoke pipe. He's a tough one, not some intellectual reminiscing his lost youth. I switched the pipe to tobaccos, but forgot to take out the pipe!

I'm the only editor of Isku, but it seems that I clearly need someone to proofread my own stories. Dave Zeltserman once wrote on his blog that you should always edit on paper, never on screen. I do exactly that: edit on screen. That's why my texts seem so good...

I've already done the layout for the next issue's Joe Novak, maybe I should print them out...

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