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Editing the Crucible

Public Group active 5 years, 5 months ago

Class blog for ENG482

by Lindsay

4/19 reading reflection

April 19, 2016 in reading-reflections by Lindsay

I had two alternating reactions to this piece. First, I was intrigued by Norris’s attention to the mechanics of grammar and meaning. I agree that sometimes the possibilities raised in language by re-styling phrases and sentences is pretty mystical. These parts of her subject matter resonated with me and the work that I’ve done in the writing center. I feel like I’ve experienced walking editorial and copy-editing tightropes with people’s documents. At what point am I confusing clarity for my own literary idiosyncrasies? Why would I know the author’s intent better than they do?

Luckily, the writing center requires authors to be present, so queries can be transformed into dialogue on clarity and intent then and there. I don’t have labor under editorial hierarchies like Norris describes. It was during these parts of the excerpt that I became a little disheartened. Logically, I can tell myself that probably not every magazine or publishing house has the same style and atmosphere as The New Yorker. Still, reading this freaked me out a little, because I really doubt that I would be able to thrive in this sort of environment. The anxiety and rigidity would drive me mad. I started to feel that, despite having considerable background in the mysticism of language, this line of work is not right for me. This is a little disorienting, because I had kinda thought that this was something I could be alright at.

Aside from my personal dilemmas surrounding this piece, I liked how the depiction of the daily grind of copy-editing was mixed in with snapshots of characters who worked alongside the author, and with the author’s “theory” on editing, so-to-speak. It reminds me of the style of assignment I have in my senior capstone, writing an autobiographical criticism or commentary on literature and writing. The theory portions of this excerpt also explicitly raise questions we as budding editors can ask ourselves, and give us a lens through which to relate our experiences working on The Crucible to the larger world of publishing.

by Eleanor

Reading Reflection for April 19

April 19, 2016 in reading-reflections by Eleanor

What I got from this reading for class today is that I’m too quick to trust the author’s decisions.  I rarely query what anyone means or their word choice unless it absolutely doesn’t make sense.  I don’t fix punctuation unless it sounds too strange.  However, the copy-editor who wrote the piece went on and on about semi-obscure grammatical terms, about how The New Yorker uses specific spellings and formats.  This lead me to wonder how different the Crucible would be if she was our copy-editor.  Are there super small details she would have changed?  Would chunks of entire pieces be different?

by Lindsay

Reading for 4/5

April 5, 2016 in reading-reflections by Lindsay

I was assigned to read some comments about literary magazines to share; the tones of the two pieces were very different. I definitely relate to the first author’s desire to have more of a relationship with her editor, and thus she does not send out works to journals all over the board, hoping to get a hit. She returns to journals, and publishes there infrequently. She acknowledges that this is an old fashioned approach, and I think this is becoming more and more true (I think back to the submissions we got early on from non-Earlham students. How did they find us, if not by machine-gunning their submission toward as many different sources as possible?).

Then again, with the number of journals that there are, it feels like this approach makes some sense. In my own search for journals to submit to, I felt more than a little overwhelmed. I latched on to one because it listed David Ebenbach as a curator of web content (I feel you, Shara McCallum). The other troubling thought I had while searching for journals was, where is a good fit for me? Where would my works belong? I looked toward experimental journals, and journals that featured flash fiction. I’m grateful for the breadth of options, of small webzines that hunger for the weird stuff and the personal-political stuff, a sentiment that Andrew Foster Altschul expresses via sarcasm in his comments piece. Niche might be a better place for me than a more traditional publication. All the myriad upstart zines have my back on this front.

by Lindsay

Editorial Process, 4/5

April 5, 2016 in editorial-process by Lindsay

This past week, although we were able to knock out formatting quicker than I anticipated, involved a lot of time proofreading, and making sure the files got consolidated correctly. This part took more time and energy that I thought it would. Many eyes poured over the material many times. You seem to pick up more each time. The front matter had to be finagled with to fit titles and names and page numbers nicely; expect this to take more time than you think. Fiddling with format is very tedious.

But it is all together now, and looking very good!

by Alisha

Editorial Process- April 5

April 5, 2016 in editorial-process by Alisha

We finished The Crucible this week!  We put everything together by merging the different InDesign files that we’ve been using, made a Table of Contents, and did one last round of copyediting.  We had to rearrange a lot of the image files, and ended up having to place them individually, which was irritating.  Hopefully that can be avoided in the future.

I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished!

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