Scribbles and thoughts ...

These are ramblings from J L Wilson, published author of romantic suspense, mystery, and paranormal -time travel fiction....

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Getting Organized

I know. Anybody who knows me is asking, "What? You weren't organized before?"

Well, now I'm getting REALLY organized. I've spent a bit of time this week getting files in the right place (physically and electronically), making lists, checking them twice (no, wait, wrong attribution) -- you get the idea.

I discovered that since I am juggling books from two publishing companies, I need to juggle styles, as well. That's not even counting the style I have to follow as a technical writer, which is a whole different ball game.

So for one company I have to have 2 spaces between sentences and double spacing for text. For the other company, it's 1 space between sentences, 1.5 spacing, etc. This may not sound like a concern to you, but believe me, it's a headache when you're working on edits. I don't understand the 2-space rule, which I thought had gone out with typewriters, but hey, it works for them. And the other stuff can be accomplished if I fuss with templates and stylesheets.

What I find perplexing is the other style issues -- word usage, cover art forms, punctuation rules, comma and semi-colon rules. Company A and Company B are DIFFERENT. I am going to have to insert a new brain when I work on each manuscript, swapping back and forth.

I've been a writer all my life (okay, since I was four years old or whenever I first picked up a crayon[TM]. {Trademarks are another confusing issue for me, so I figured I'd better put that TM in there}).

As one example, I never realized there was such a gulf between the use of the comma. I am a sparse comma user, inserting it only when I think it assists comprehension. I never really learned grammar rules (cover your ears Mrs. Bundy, my English teacher from grade school). I don't know a clause from a phrase. Well, I do, but I don't think about it. I put a comma into a sentence when I think it's needed, not when it follows a rule.

I have found that is Not Right according to one of my publishers. I must follow RULES for them. Okay, I can manage. I'll dig those rules out of the dark recesses of my brain and dust 'em off for use when needed. But the other company does NOT use those rules. They want the 'commas aid comprehension, use 'em sparingly' philosophy.

And that's only ONE example of differences. I'm finding I have to keep lists handy full of items like "remember to do this when you're working on Book A but don't do it on Book B". Sort of a Right Brain/Left Brain thing.

All part of the learning process I guess. All part of Getting Organized.

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