Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Paper-trail

While I'm still on the subject of rewriting (as I had suspected, Prospective Agent is snowed under after the Frankfurt Book Fair and has asked for a fortnight's grace before I send TB&TW off to him) I thought I'd address the issue of the far-from-paperless process as it occurs in my house.

Though I try and do as much rewriting/editing as I can onscreen, there is a completely different feel about the printed page and I know that no part of my book is properly combed-through and appraised until I've done it on the page. Consequently, I have piles and piles of A4 printouts of various bits and drafts of The Black and The White hanging about the place. As of yesterday I decided to chuck them all in the recycling bin and just keep the most recent, clean copy.

What does everybody else do with printed-out drafts?

15 comments:

Aliya Whiteley said...

Yeah, recycling bin. Although before I moved house this time around I always kept them all. It was a very pile of paper when it finally went to the wheelie bin in the sky.

Alis said...

So moving house does have its advantages then...

David Isaak said...

Stack them for a while. Recycle them when I realize that I no longer know which draft is which.

I have a rather large collection of manuscripts of other people's drafts of their books, though, and I can't bear to part with most of those. If nothing else, they may be useful to future scholars.

Or for blackmail.

David Isaak said...

PS I also need to see it on paper because it reads in a different fashion.

On occasion, I've used Lulu's free software to print a chapter as if typeset. Now that really changes how one reads it!

Frances Garrood said...

I don't print stuff out for mymself, but I still have the printed version of Birds and Bees sent to me by Macmillan for editing. I use the reverse side to print off odd things from the internet, and also for scrap paper. But it will keep me in scrap paper for a very long time, and if there's ever another one, I think I'll recycle it straight away. the pile never seems to get any smaller.

Alis said...

HI David - yes, having something typeset as a book does make it read differently. Sometimes I print mine out in Word's reading mode for that reason.

As for posterity - do you know really famous (or potentially famous) people?

Alis said...

Hi Frances - yes, the scrap paper scenario. How much scrap paper can any one household use up? Certainly not a draft's worth every few months, that's for sure...

C. N. Nevets said...

I always print and mark, and then once I'm done I throw the heap into recycling bin and cart it away ASAP. I love revising, but it's great to have it behind me, too.

That said, I've recently gotten my hands' on a couple of authors' Lulu early drafts and proofs and it's kind of a cool collectible for me, so I might do something like that in the future.

Alis said...

Hi Nevets - I find it interesting that people are using Lulu to produce book-like drafts. Who said technology would be the death of the book?!

謝佑芝 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

Juxtabook said...

Alis - I can't get the link to your website (top left) to open from your blog home page.

David Isaak said...

Sure, I know famous or potentially famous people. Many of those don't send me manuscripts, of course. Usually only the writers do that.

I have two ms from other MNW writers (works that are so-far unpublished); presubmission drafts from two different writers whose first novels just came out; some manuscripts that now have agents out peddling them; and big chunks of works-in-progress by various folks, one of which I am certain will be published (if she ever stops tweaking and finishes the damned thing).

With that many to choose form, I'm sure somebody will hit the jackpot.

Alis said...

Hi Catherine - thanks for reminding me! I need to take that link down as I've shut the website down for now. My host was quite expensive and I want to put a new site together with a new host, which I will do once I have some firm movement on the next book. Meanwhile, it's an expense I can do without.

Alis said...

With that many irons in the fire, David, you should be running a critique-ing service!

David Isaak said...

I like reading.

There's a special sizzle when you're reading something before anyone else has seen it.

Or maybe that's just me?