Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I Wonder What That Means?

It’s bad enough that I sometimes can’t read my own handwriting. I occasionally forget what I meant by the scribbled noted in the manuscript margin.

The first problem is when I’m correcting I sometimes
a) use a pencil
b) write very small
It’s usually only a typo. If I can’t read my squiggle I can still see the problem because my squiggle is right at the mistake.

The second problem is more difficult. Crossing out words is easy to follow, but adding them in is a challenge. If they’re just illegible I have a reasonable chance of reasoning them out. But sometimes the words are perfectly legible, but I don’t recall why I thought they belonged.
Yesterday I was doing the corrections on my ms. I’d read it over several weeks ago and knew I should get right at my corrections and get them done.
I did chapter one within a day or so, rewrote it a bit, and then decided to let the dust settle.
Yesterday I got back to it. One the first page of second chapter in neat hand in the left margin I found the phrase
“letting ourselves enjoy.”

It could relate to either of two paragraphs. It doesn’t.
It doesn’t fit anywhere. I have no idea what it was we should be letting ourselves enjoy.
I’m sure its stellar advice, though. I intend to let myself enjoy as much as I can.
But I’d enjoy it a lot more if I knew what it was I meant.


Crabby McSlacker said...

I have this problem when I'm on the phone. Instead of taking logical notes on what the person is saying, I'll pick out random words and write them down, then underline them, leaving out anything helpful like names or dates or phone numbers. Often without even realizing I'm doing it. Then I'll come back later and see these mysterious scribblings. It's like someone else wrote them.

Dawn said...

I use to follow the time honoured advice of keeping a notebook beside the bed so that I could write down any spark of inspiration that struck during the wee small hours. Gave it up. Couldn't understand a jolly thing I wrote!

Unknown said...

I have this problem sometimes too.

Unfortunately, sometimes when I scribble a note in the margin, it's a note to help me remember my train of thought for the scene (symbolism, theme, characterization, etc.), and I try and make it a correction or addition or something like that.

I've started keeping notes in a legal pad so I can write complete sentences/thoughts so I don't go back later and look at it, thinking, "I do what now?"

Happy scribbling!

Leah J. Utas said...

Nice to know I'm in good company.

Michael said...

Yes, you are, Leah. Sometimes I think I wrote my notes in code.