I remember seeing Charlotte Bronte’s fair copy of Jane Eyre, the one she had written out all in neat handwriting to send to the publishers.’Lucky me’, I thought ‘able to just type it straight into the computer and email it off’.
Oh yes, lucky me. First, I have to make sure my word processing program is compatible with theirs. I have to make sure I use the right font, in the right size, with the right spacing. I have to have the right headers and footers, and page numbering. I have to use certain arcane symbols to indicate paragraph breaks instead of just actually starting a new paragraph.
It all gets very confusing and even I, who am fairly skilled in computing, sometimes have no idea how to do what they actually want me to do.
You know, sometimes I long for the days when writers just got writers cramp from writing neatly, rather than struggling with the correct use of the technology!
Just kidding. I love my computer. But it does seem the more it improves, the more publishers ask us to do to the manuscript before they’ll even look at it.