Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Time after time

Twice I have had the misfortune of having an annoyingly alert copyeditor discover that the timeline of a book wasn't right after it had been typeset.

[Note: Please know that I use the word "annoyingly" with nothing but awe, respect, appreciation and gratitude. Seriously, dude.]

After much hair pulling and Oreo eating, I managed to fix things, which is very tricky because at this stage of the book process, you want as few pages as possible have to be changed. (Note: I think I need a copyeditor for that sentence.)

Here is my most recent timeline annoyance (from The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester, to be published Fall 2010):

P.1: The copyeditor has decided this is Saturday, based on the later chronology.

p.11: This is day two. C thinks it’s Sunday, although there is no mention of church (church on Sunday is mentioned in later chapters), but because they meet in the afternoon (p.17), that’s not really an issue.

p.21: This is day three. C says it’s Monday.

p.34: This is day four. C says it’s Tuesday.

p.41: C says: “Is this still the same day as at end of Ch.6 (Day 4, Tuesday)? Add something to clarify? It should be the same day if later chronology is to work.

p.68, middle of page: “Owen hated Wednesday nights. On Wednesday nights…” So this is Wednesday (day five)

p.73: This is day six, so Thursday.

p.80, after line break: “That night…” C says this is Thursday night.

p.82: This is day seven, so Friday.

**p.83, bottom of page: “The boys huddled together up in the hayloft of the barn all afternoon, planning how they would get the Water Wonder 4000 down to the pond.” C says this has to still be Friday morning (not afternoon), or the time sequence doesn’t work from here to p.109, which is definitely Sunday morning. OK to change the line to something like: “The boys huddled together up in the hayloft of the barn the rest of the morning…” ?

p.87: C thinks this should still be day seven (Friday). Midday?

p.94, before line break: “The boys bumped their fists together while agreeing to meet in the barn later that day.” C says “later that day” should be Friday, early evening.

p.97: C says “Is it now Saturday morning? Day 8? Add something to indicate the day here?” Note the line “By the time the noon-day sun was high overhead…” at the bottom of the page. (Barbara, just for the record, I don’t think you need to tell us explicitly what day it is all the time, as long as the timeline works out.)

**p.98, line 7: “We can work on it some more in the morning, when it’s cooler.” C says: “Change this line to: ‘We can work on it some more in the evening, when it’s cooler.’? It’s now Saturday, and Ch.19 (p.109) begins on Sunday, so they have to come back later this same day for the chronology to add up.”

**p.105, 1st line: “…He and Travis and Stumpy had gotten to the clearing early that morning, when the dew was still clinging to the wildflowers and ferns.” See query p.98. If Ch.19 begins on Sunday, this here can’t be another new morning, but later Saturday evening. Rework?

p.107, after line break: “That night, after dinner…” C says this is Saturday night.

p.109, 1st line: “Owen had begged and pleaded and begged and pleaded to stay home from church.” This is day nine, and obviously Sunday.

p.119: C says this is day ten, Monday. From here on out, the time line works perfectly (yay!).


Kirby Larson said...

I feel your pain. We are good with words, not numbers.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that there were so few comments about this entry. Could it be because it is so mindboggling that another can pick apart with such precision? Editing is an art and a craft! Amazing work... JAZ