Monday, June 14, 2010

In praise of paper

Today I printed off the latest incarnation of Bound for another round of editing. Naturally my printer decided to pack a sad and grind to a halt half way through because it had decided to run out of toner. Being of the Scottish persuasion I pulled the toner cartridge out, gave it a good shake and stuck it back in. Should be good for another couple of hundred pages at least.

When it comes to editing, I love paper. I need to be able to scribble, and cross out, to doodle and generally think with a pen. People tell me there are great ways of doing this on screen, with track changes, and Post it notes, but it just ain't the same. I like to be able to curl up on the sofa and scribble in margins. I like to be able to take it down to my favourite cafe, eat wicked things and drink excessive amount of caffeine while making little purple comments through out the text - I mean purple literally, not figuratively here! Purple, or green pen. Green is another favourite annotating colour from my pharmacist days. But the thing is, it is all done on paper.

Sure, when I sit down with my folderful of edits and put them into the computer I elaborate and extend and it often leads onto other things. But for that important first step in each editing process, for me, I can't go past paper.

9 comments:

Damon Young said...

I enjoyed this, Vanda. Tell me, do you use a fountain pen, refillable with all sorts of beautiful greens and purples?

An ink called 'Sweet Persimmon' got me through the first edits for my latest (sent to my editor this morning).

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n5/DAYoung_2006/inkbottle-1.jpg

Dave B said...

When I look over Paul's novels, I generally send him comments in an Outlook email. Usually I quote the line or section I am commenting on, with a page number so he can find it quickly.

I read them in bed on the laptop and I liked it because I can do a quick search to find a previous reference or continuity error.

Tis good fun, can't imagine I would be a fan of the paper thing but hey, send it up anyway.

:)

Vanda Symon said...

Damon, that ink bottle is a thing of beauty. I feel a visit to the art shop coming on. I have tended to favour fibre-tip pens or smooth gel rollerballs, like the Jimnie gel roller in violet, but now you have got me obsessing about fountain pens. Uh oh.

Nice try, Dave (-:

Erin (Homemade Cards by Erin) said...

You like paper? Really, I'm so surprised to hear that.

Margot Kinberg said...

Vanda - There is something very satisfying about paper. I have to admit, I do my editing online, but still, there's nothing like holding actual paper.

Damon Young said...

Hmm. Then you might like Yama-Budo (Mountain Grape). This is what it looks like on the page.

You can see the full Iroshizuku range here

Now, fountain pens...

Vanda Symon said...

You are evil, Damon...

Bookman Beattie said...

Maurice Gee would be interested in your comments about paper Vanda. He used to write his books longhand into 1B school exercise books.

Pen said...

I'm with you on this Vanda. I'm a total fan of editing on paper. I usually do a first edit on screen, but the real editing happens when I've got the paper and pen in hand, then I really feel the freedom to slash and cut and scribble to my hearts content knowing that if I change my mind about anything it's not lost forever.

Love paper edits! :D