From the desk of W. J. Onufer…
“I have a whole new appreciation for Svetlana now,” my Editor, Christine Piesyk, told me. That was her opening greeting to me as we got together, on Skype Sunday afternoon. We’re on the edge of getting Torch, the next Tales of the Vampire Hadley Price novel, published and we were dealing with some of the thousands of things we have to do to make that happen.
“A whole new appreciation for Svetlana?” I said. “In what way?”
“She doesn’t speak with contractions.”
I got a good laugh from that.
You see, over the last month or so, Christine and I have been dealing with a glitch in word processing software. The short version is this- Open Office Writer has a couple of straight lines as their quotation marks. They’re not curly. Now, to anyone other that a writer, that’s no big deal. And I was going to let it ride until I did a little research and found out that those straight line quotation marks are considered unprofessional when submitting a manuscript. Since I wrote all the stuff for Torch on Open Office, Christine and I had to change all the straight quotation marks to curly ones.
One would think that a simple search and replace would fix the whole manuscript. Or go into Settings and select or deselect certain things One would think. Not so. Very-not so. I won’t go into details except to say that it was ridiculously complicated to fix the straight quotation marks. When it comes to quotation marks, Open Office and Microsoft Word don’t play well together.
Christine did manage to fix some things, in bulk. But even after seeking help on Youtube and other tutorial online sources, the result was a big, sorry, you’re SOL when it came to apostrophes, those curly things used in conjunctions- like we’re, I’d or she’s. And being consistent, Open Office had theirs as a straight line, not as a curly line. It all resulted in making it necessary for Christine to go through the entire manuscript to correct the apostrophes. The Quotations marks could be fixed in bulk, but for some reason the apostrophes couldn’t. So Christine went, line by line and manually changed the straight apostrophes into curly apostrophes.
Now, if you haven’t read any on my Tales of the Vampire Hadley books, here’s a couple words of explanation. The three main characters are the Vampire Hadley Price, her Vampire lover, Nathan Hughes and their daughter, the young Vampire, Svetlana Magnovska.
Svetlana is a tall blonde beauty of a young Vampire. She’s forty years old but she looks like a teen age girl. She was born in Russia. As such, she speaks English with a Russian accent. To emphasize her accent, I purposely write her dialogue without any words that are contractions. It’s sort of like Data, in Next Gen, who never used contractions when he spoke. Can’t is always can-not. We’re is always we-are.
So whenever Christine came across some of Svetlana’s dialogue- and Svetlana tends to be a bit of a chatty gal -there weren’t any contractions to fix. No straight apostrophes to make curly.
Thank you very much, Svetlana Magnovska. We appreciate your help.
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