dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #755

jenne at fiedlerfamily.net jenne at fiedlerfamily.net
Tue Dec 2 15:47:22 EST 2003


> However, in recent Pratchett books I have started to notice weird
> little errors that suggest his manuscripts are not being closely
> proof-read. In 'Carpe Jugulum' he starts a scene with Magrat sitting at
> her dressing table, has her get up and go into another room... where
> she sits down at her dressing table. Do Queens get lots of those? In
> 'The Truth' William corrects Goodmountain's typesetting of the word
> 'night' (he was apparently spelling it 'might') when in fact the piece
> of text he is setting refers to *morning* and doesn't have 'night' in
> it anywhere. In 'Night Watch' a torturer enters bare-chested and is
> later (not having had time or a reason to put on more clothes) seen
> with 'blood on his shirt.' In all these cases it is as if Terry rewrote
> the second paragraph but didn't check back to ensure the earlier
> paragraph was consistent - and no-one else called him on it. It's
> weird. This is a minor, minor niggle, not a serious case of
> 'sequelitis' or authorial mental decline. But it throws me a little
> every time I encounter it. Perhaps a little more editorial criticism
> would help.

Perhaps having copyeditors at the publishers instead of spellcheckers
might help.

For instance, it was noticeable that there were a large number of
misprints and factual errors in Norman Davies' _Europe_, first edition,
which came out under the Oxford University press label. In Days Gone By,
such a prestigious publishing house would have had copyeditors to check
such things... nowadays they are apparently all gone the way of the dodo.

Which leads to really interesting effects when an untrammelled
spellchecker is let loose on Regency Romances.... *sigh*

Fantasy and Science Fiction as well as Mystery authors, ought to have
continuity checkers, too, just like movies.

For instance, Anne McCaffrey seems to be resisting any efforts of her
continuity checkers to make the latest Dragon books have cultural
continuity with the earliest ones, though the contiunity of action is
all right...

If you read Patricia Wrede, you'll find that the plot of Searching for
Dragons invalidates an account of the past given in Talking with Dragons
(but Talking with Dragons was written first).


-- Pani Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net
"And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including
yourself. That's what sin is." -- Terry Pratchett, _Carpe Jugulum_

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