Inspired by the Mona Lisa of proofing (please see previous post entitled The Verdict for a backgrounder), I made a strict resolution to be as neat as possible with my corrections. And voila, I have a new manuscript to baby who shall benefit from this resolution. I affectionately name him Peewee. Take a look at my Peewee here:
It’s not like the Mona Lisa of proofing just yet, but it’s way better than the bloodbath I had made of Frose. Sighs. The guinea pigs we make of the firstborns shape us up, indeed.
Peewee is a philosophical manuscript which takes twice as much time to edit but is written by a very prolific writer. He has a very rich vocabulary; I think I just had three new vocabulary words added to my brain yesterday from the first chapter alone. My favorite word at the moment, eclipsing “attenuation,” is PROPOUND (it’s a verb which means to advocate). I really think the author is propounding philosophical profoundness with the things he wrote.
I have secret pet names for the authors too, the non-derogatory type. It makes life so much fun as an editor when you have pet names for the manuscripts and authors. It makes them more… endearing. (That’s just my style; I don’t know how others cultivate their love for their jobs. But for me, this works pretty well.)
Frose, my first project, is already on its way for first editing. Meanwhile, Peewee is the second project. And a third one is on the way. I am already thinking of a good name for it. We are tasked to work on simultaneous projects, and I love it!!! I can’t imagine myself working anywhere else. Assisting me in shaping up these manuscripts is Jehleen, my workdesk computer.
Babying a manuscript is a bit like giving birth. It takes six months to a year before a raw manuscript gets printed. And it undergoes so much filtering, editing and amending during that period. It was always for the better. And a book is not just an author’s work. It’s a collaboration of all the people who had something contributed to it: the editors, the illustrators, and the layout artists, among many others.
As a voracious reader, I never saw the need to bother with the copyright page and the excess fly leaf in front (what I know now to be formally called the book’s Front Matters or Prelims). I barely cared about the pagination or the fonts of the headings (although I got pissed one time with my copy of “Para Kay B” because it had missing two or three pages, and I had to guess what happened to the character then). I occasionally read the full detail of the stuff on the book cover (in publishing jargon, it’s called book blurbs) . And when I am in an industrious mood, I read the Preface (pronounced as ‘pre-fis’, not ‘prifeys’!), too.
But now, I have to care for them all, on top of making sure the content is good. It’s how tedious the whole thing is. It’s like giving birth to a child and raising it well. With titles that have more than one edition, editing is a never-ending thing.
Initially my editing style was intuitive. Sometimes, I read the words out loud and see if they “sound” right. Years of reading actually give you an idea of what grammatically “sounds” right even if you do not have the grammar book figured out to the letter.
It still is intuitive now, but I learned to be more specific with menial mechanics and syntax, too. Knowing where certain punctuations go, what specific words to use and where to slice the extremely long sentences are just some of the things I am learning to love. I must love these particulars as much as I adore intuitively editing a manuscript.
From time to time, I find myself checking grammar rules. The word comprise, for example, is often used with the word “of” after it. ‘Comprised of’ may sound right to some people, but in reality, comprise stands alone as a word. It is synonymous to the word include. Just a bit of useful grammar information that some random reader might actually find useful. 😀
Whew. Finally, it’s a weekend. I decided to take Peewee. I take my manuscripts home so that my mom and my sister can “meet” them.
My direct boss (the Mona Lisa proof from previous post was done by the bigger boss) told me last night that we editors are allowed to blog the titles of the manuscripts once they have transformed into full-pledged books. So, someday, Frose and Peewee will be called by their true and official names. Haha. But they will forever be Frose and Peewee to me.
Bigger boss (Mona Lisa of proofing) wanted to see if I can do well in editing a manuscript outside engineering field. He thinks I did pretty well on Frose, an engineering manuscript. That’s why I am hoping that Peewee also passes his standards when I submit it to him. Crossed fingers. :mrgrreen: