Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Paper or Screen?


Good December morning to you. This is Jennifer Johnson, and my first book with Resplendence, Holding Out for a Hero, has its release in April of 2010.
I've been doing some pre-edits of Holding Out before I send it to the editor for the editing proper to begin. I thought to print out the story because I can catch errors on paper that for some reason are invisible on the screen. Amazing. As many times as I've been through this manuscript, I still have mistakes.
It makes me appreciate those writers who created their stories with typewriter. Can you imagine how much time it must have taken to present one's story with no errors whatsoever? Or the frustration to have typed the page down to the last line then hit the wrong key? How did they ever do it without picking up the typewriter and throwing it out the window? Or how did books ever get published with little to no errors? Can you imagine the time invested in the finished product when there were only manual typewriters?
I was sharing my thoughts on this with someone, and his comment was that we don't necessarily save time with computers.
What?! Surely you jest.
So, this someone did what he usually does when I give him my look of disbelief. He gave me an example.
The SR 71. This was the last airplane designed with a slide rule. It also was the last plane designed on time and under budget. With computers we have the capability to work and rework and redo until the product is shiny and brilliant, the best possible of all the models of computer simulations. However, before computers the product could just be "good enough". And that was good enough.
Here's another tidbit he threw at me. With computers we are generating more printed paper copies than ever before. I find that interesting even though I've heard tell of offices that are "paperless" in theory, but in reality have delivery of reams of paper on a regular basis.
Would I want to go back to the good old days before computers, Microsoft tracking, and spellcheck? Heck no.
And I bet my editor wouldn't want to go back either.
Want to know more about me? Come visit my website at http://booksbyjenniferjohnson.com

4 comments:

Magdalena Scott said...

I definitely would not want to go back to the typewriter. Been there, done that. Would you believe the office I worked in during high school had to buy white-out in gallons because of me? We actually made different colored carbon copies of documents while typing, so yellow-out was a biggie, too.

Leona said...

I think that people had pride in their work back then and really cared to do a good job. White out was an amazing thing we were just talking about it the other day and how it is all but obsolete now. I personally like the mimeograph machine when we were in Elementary school. Used to fight to be the one to pass out the papers after rolled off the press to be able to smell. I'm sure that explains some of my issues now LOL

Jennifer Johnson said...

I don't remember the smell. I do remember the purple copies though.

Leona said...

You obviously didn't crank the machine and get them fresh off the press when they were still wet. You would remember the smell. It was amazingly good.

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