In 2007, I wrote a Lives article for The New York Times Magazine. At the time, they were using Bob Hambly for their simple yet effective black-and-white logos on top of each essay, and thinking of that logo made me think about having something similar to that in my novel. After some searching, I found the perfect person to draw these up: my talented wife. So here they are, a collage of the graphics that appear on each and every chapter of Everything Asian.
Has it already been a month and a half since I made my last entry? How the hell do people write every day in their blogs? It’s nothing short of astonishing.
Anyway, the loose proofs came today. At this stage, the book is looking like a book, and here’s the strange thing: it doesn’t look real. As I get closer to having this manuscript turned into an actual novel, the more surreal it all seems. On every other page, I see my name, right there. And on the other side, the title of the book I’ve been working on for what seems like forever. It’s all utterly, terrifically strange.
On Monday, my editor sent me the copyedited manuscript. I need to return it by May 30, so basically, this weekend is where I need to read over the copy editor’s marks, make my own changes, and ship it back.
What I find most fascinating is the style sheet. If you don’t know what a style sheet is, here’s a definition from Angela Harms via google (search terms: “style sheet” copyediting):
One of the first things I do when copy-editing is to create a style sheet. A style sheet is vital for ensuring that a manuscript is consistent. It will include such things as character and place names, dates, and the author’s preferences for certain ways of writing. This lets us remember that Rebecca is called Becca, and not Becky, that she’s older than June, and that the author (or publisher) prefers to put two commas in “bread, eggs, and milk” rather than only one. The style sheet will follow the manuscript to publication, for use by proofreaders or anyone else who works with the text.
So the copyeditor assigned to my book wrote up one of these, and it’s a weird feeling. It’s weird that another human being has read my manuscript with such care.
Thank goodness for style sheets and thorough editors. Apparently, I spelled Korean fried rice two different ways — bee-bim-bahb and bi-bim-baap. I prefer the latter. And now, I’m hungry.