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The Art of Story Writing : CHAPTER XVIII Copying Manuscript

by Nathaniel C. Fowler, JR   

CHAPTER XVIII Copying Manuscript

ALL manuscripts, if of any importance, should be copied by the author, and the copies should be kept away from the original manuscript, so that there will be a copy remaining in case of the loss or destruction of the original manuscript or of the copy itself. It is not likely that both, if kept in separate places, will meet with loss or destruction.

Publishers do not hold themselves responsible for the loss of, or damage to, a manuscript, although they usually take good care of them. If a publisher loses or damages a manuscript, the author has no redress.

Copies of manuscripts may be made in the following ways:

First, when done on the typewriter, a carbon sheet is inserted between the regular manuscript paper and another sheet of the same kind of paper or of thinner stock. Care should be taken not to use worn carbon paper, as the copies should be nearly as distinct as the original, and sufficiently good to take the place of the original manuscript if it is lost. But in this case, I would advise a re-copying of the copy. If thin paper is used, two or three carbon copies may be made, but one is usually sufficient. A record, and not a copying ribbon, should be used on the typewriter.

Secondly, copies of manuscripts, either typewritten with a copying ribbon or written with a pen and copying ink, may be produced by the wet or damp process of copying; that is, by placing next to each page of the manuscript a sheet of tissue paper, on the top of which is a damp cloth, and pressing with a copying press, or with very heavy weights. The process, however, blurs both the manuscript and the copy of it.

Thirdly, a pencil or indelible pencil may be used for the writing of the manuscript, and a sheet of carbon paper placed between it and another sheet, but the work of the pencil is to be discouraged, except for making drafts or outlines. Changes made on the original manuscript should be duplicated upon the copy. To save time, it is suggested that the eraser be not used. Cross out misspelled words or other errors, by running x's or lines through them, and continuing as though the mistakes had not occurred. By doing this, alteration will not have to be made with pen or pencil upon the copies.

The editor, reader, or compositor does not object to these obliterations, if there are not too many of them, and the manuscript reads smoothly.