I received a Tweet just the other day, telling me a reader on the other side of the world had read, enjoyed, and written a review on amazon.in. I share it below:
“It is rare to come across a book in historical times that depicts the language and people of that time as perfectly as Deborah Bowman’s book does. She has thoroughly researched the history, language, people of the mid 16th century before writing Annie’s story. Annie is not your ordinary girl, she is blessed with a gift. Have you ever felt like deja-vu? Take it a notch higher, Annie is a strong woman, little and soft but strong at heart. Losing her parents and being brought up by her grandmother alone are not the only things we feel for Annie. The times of 16th century America was not as soft for a woman. Deborah Bowman takes us on a journey to the world we do not often encounter. Nowadays it is more about YA novels set in today’s time or fantasy lands. I love how Deborah Bowman chose such a vivid topic and place to write about. Annie’s simple heart, pure courage, her love for nature, care for animals and all things alike will make you think.
“No matter the troubles and problems life throws your way, you can still rise above it and live. Make way and in turn guide others.”
I am lucky to have read a story with such a different style of writing. If you love historical stories with surprises and twists with genuine reasons, you will love it for sure!”
Thank you so much! Annie is happy to have spent time with you.–Deborah A. Bowman
Yes, above are the tools that created our printed media, a mere twenty years ago. Every word, period, figure, diagram, page or column was typeset through a cold photographic process, cut out, pasted in place, and then the real work began…
Any corrections or changes were similarly typeset, trimmed to miniscule sizes, adhesive applied, lined up perfectly on a light table so the high-watt fluorescent bulbs showed through the original to hand-paste the corrections over the existing characters, words, lines or paragraphs to get everything to line-up perfectly or not so perfectly, as the case may be. It was an art. It was also tedious, time-consuming work.
After the corrections were stripped in by-hand, it still was far from being print-ready. Every cut-line, every paste-mark, every single page, column or image had irregular lines around them that would show up in print as grey-to-black lines or shadows. Therefore, each page was run through a photographic reversal process, creating a film negative–black background with white characters or images. On this photo stock, cut-lines now appeared as white or clear streaks on the chemically prepared negative.
That’s where our fine, varied sizes of ink tips came in. A graphic artist would select the ink tip which was closest in size to the line, streak or shadow and fill-in the cut-lines with black ink. Too thick and it created a blob effect on the master; too thin and the cut lines still showed after printing. Then you had to start the whole process over again.
Once the reversal was perfect, it was reversed again on white photographic paper, trimmed to page size–black characters on white gloss with all the make-ready lines now hidden. But the printing process hasn’t even begun yet!
The next step was to take those pages in layouts of four, eight, or sixteen and create a metal plate with the copy heat-pressed into the plate, similar to engraving. The indentations in the metal plate which were the tiny characters that made up words was covered with ink, pressed into the grooves, and printed from the plate onto paper. A metal plate would only hold ink for so long. With the force of the printers heat “pressing” the text onto hundreds or thousands of large sheets of paper, many plates had to be recreated as exact duplicates. Pages were trimmed to size in multiples of four after they were printed and dried. This process was for text or line drawings only. Pictures were printed separately and inserted hy-hand, then run through the same process to print.
WHAT IS TRENDING?
We have been enjoying the ease of typesetting and formatting on our personal computers and home business printers for some time. Now we have gone to tablets, smart-phones, smart-TVs, etc. We can print directly from our phones, watches, and many other technological devices with new gizmos cropping up every year, every season, every month.
Just remember…what you put in a device is what comes out. Corrections, changes, proofreading, and editing is a process that can’t be forgotten or ignored. Use a professional writer/editor to achieve professional quality. Words and images in print, whether they’re online or on the most beautiful stock in the world, mean nothing if they can’t be understood or don’t get your message across. Websites may be new, unique, glitzy, but if the words are unrecognizable to the layman who needs your services and expertise, you’re not going to get any business.
Just some thoughts on where we’ve come from and how to stay-in-your-zone to be respected, accepted, and sought after in all your specialties.
I’ve got to admit that I’ve seen the written, typeset page go through a myriad of changes in my lifetime! As editors, we originally had to use symbols to show the typesetter how we wanted our words to appear on the page to express emotion or create emphasis. We now have all these tools, plus so much more, right at our fingertips. We can change the color, size, font, and typestyle to emphasize or highlight certain words, phrases, or headlines. Below are a few tips and editorial guidelines for using Italics,Bold, quotation marks, all CAPS, and underlining. You want to create voices that speak to you so that your readers can hear all of the intended expression. It’s not just the words, but how the written voice says them.
1. Italics: I was once told that the Italics typeface was used to “pretty up” a page, like drawing little flowers in the margins. I was shocked to hear this from a printer who was suggesting I take all the Italics out of my novel’s manuscript because it made the job harder to print and they didn’t mean anything anyway. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Italics are definitely used for emphasis, and combining Bold and Italics really emphasizes the word or phrase! In fiction, especially dialog, an italicized word is spoken with increased volume and firmness. It issues a command, expresses sarcastic comments or thoughts, and shows a little tongue-in-cheek humor, so to speak. But Italics are so much more!
George R.R. Martin of “A Song of Fire and Ice” fame is masterful at using Italics to show what’s going on in his character’s head…usually quite the opposite of what is actually being said. How would we ever truly know what Tyrion Lannister “the Imp” was really feeling? Just think how much wit and wisdom we would lose without those Italics!
Since Italics are used for thoughts, if you’re writing in typical 3rd-person, past tense, Italics will cue the reader that the character is thinking in present tense for a quick, stray thought or to relive past events and conversations in real-time. It also works well for dream sequences, fugue interludes, or devising plots and schemes. It reveals the true, in-depth personality of the character, not just the mask presented to the world. Would that we could see these fugue states in real life!
2. Bold: True to its name and its appearance, Bold typeface is strong and emphatic. The emphasis is harsh, loud, and immediate, and more often than not, it’s followed by an exclamation point!
In non-fiction, however, Bold can be used to highlight important points, distinguish paragraph and section headings, or draw attention to captions for pictures, graphics, figures, tables, charts, etc.
3. Quotation marks: Quotation marks are notoriously used inaccurately. First of all, quotation marks and single straight tick marks or apostrophes are not the same thing. Quote marks are used in pairs with the beginning facing one way and the end facing the other. They really should be used only for quoted material and dialog.
Somehow it has crept into our American language that quote marks can be used for emphasis also, but I personally do not recommend it. It can lead to confusion if the reader thinks an emphasized word or comment is literal. In non-fiction it can lead to misquoting a source; in fiction it can throw off a needed clue to resolve the plot.
Our British friends across the pond use single quotation marks for dialog, but you’ll notice their spellings, abbreviations, and word meanings vary from the United States as well. I recommend the Oxford Dictionary of British English, as opposed to the Oxford Dictionary of American English, if it’s your first go at a British novel. It’s interesting to see how style has evolved differently in different parts of the world, but also in different sections within the same nation.
4. ALL CAPS: Okay, first I have to say I’m not yelling at you! All uppercase has evolved into raising your voice on texting and emails. Originally it was used for the titles of books and is still used in fiction for strong emphasis in dialog.
Mostly all CAPS is used in headlines for newspapers, magazines; section/chapter/paragraph headers for non-fiction books; and once-upon-a-time fiction Chapter Titles, back when there were such things as Chapter Titles. I still see them occasionally like an old friend I haven’t seen in years. Stephen King, I believe, has continued to be a traditionalist in this regard, as well as other authors who have been producing high quality fiction for many years. It does make for a much more interesting Table of Contents and naming the chapters without giving away any plot twists is an art onto itself.
5. Underlining: This method of emphasis dates back to the typewriter days. You didn’t have access to Bold or Italic typefaces until the copy was typeset, which was a long, expensive process. If the title of a book was not in all CAPS, it was underlined.
Now, underlining is mostly used in non-fiction books, reports, charts, tables, and brochures or pamphlets for headers. Underlining has given way to completely boxed or colored sections, shout-outs, and text inserted in different shapes and graphics.
These editorial rules are evolving just as our language and writing prep-process changes with the computer age. These editorial tips, however, show a prospective client, agent, or publisher that you care about accuracy and consistency in your book or publication.
Some people excel as editors. Some excel as authors. Being an editor and an author forces me to seek the expertise of another editor for my own writing. The best thing you can do for yourself as a writer, regardless of the genre or subject matter, is have an editor or expert proofread your material. It is a proven fact that you cannot edit your own work. You read right over the errors and your brain sees what you think is there!
A short note from the CEO of Clasid Consultants Publishing, Inc., Deborah A. Bowman:
I am an author, writer/editor, proofreader, book reviewer, cover/graphics designer, and publisher with 20+ years of experience. I really like to help new writers start off with a quality book. It’s how you get noticed and have your writing taken seriously.
I’m willing to coach and to teach, and questions are free. I learned to write, format, and layout books start-to-finish the old fashioned way, when cut-and-paste was done with an Xacto knife, scissors, light-table, and adhesive. The quality of these books was incredible, but it took as long as a year or more to crop, scale, strip-in, correct, and proofread one letter at a time.
I have taken my skills and applied them to the current technology. There are pros and cons to both, but I believe the quality of yester-year can be achieved with the rapidity of technology today. Do a search for writing, editing, proofreading, and tricks-of-the-trade for information I have already shared on my blog, bowmanauthor.com.
My company is www.clasidconsultantspublishing.com The website is up and running, but we’re constantly adding new consultants and referral partners. Notify us if you want to be included in our list of experts and specialists. Let me help you be the best that you can be at your chosen craft! My rates are based on your needs and budget. I’ll read and critique your first chapter for free!
WORDS AND IMAGES IN PRINT LEAVE LASTING IMPRESSIONS!