Thursday, December 27, 2018

Stranger Than Fiction?

Common Grounds Coffee Shop in Payson, AZ

Post-Script: We finally had Internet service restored before dark. Once returning from the cigar store, I spent the afternoon and into the early evening typing up a third draft of my story, in the final formatting required (4"x7" text area), using the Facit 1620. Being as it's a pica typeface, those lines were pretty short, only 40 characters wide, which meant either a lot of empty space on the right side of each line, or excessive hyphens to break up longer words. I chose mainly to leave spaces, but also changed some of the wording from the 2nd draft, so as to fit words more exactly on each line.

To make the process a bit easier while still adhering to the required borders, I drew up a 4"x7" rectangle in bold ink, centered on my backing sheet of paper, to use as a typing guide. It was easy enough to see through my typing paper, which wasn't all that heavy in weight, making the typing process manageable. I'd seriously recommend this method to anyone working on their story for Cold Hard Type.

I also thought about reverting to an elite font machine, but I do like the clearer imprint of pica. My wife reminded me that I'd have the same problem of breaking up words at the right margin, regardless of typeface size.

This exercise also reminded me how nice it is to read a book with justified text. Perhaps someone out there is writing their story on an IBM Wheelwriter 2000?

Despite the challenge of fitting neat, readable type within such narrow confines, while keeping one's story intact, I do understand the needs of the printing process, since the pages need to appear uniform once in book form.

And now it's snowing outside, with a promised blizzard hitting the area. I guess I'll stay indoors and do more typing. Hopefully the Internet stays up.

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Blogger Kent Peterson said...

Joe, I hit on the same method as you did in drawing a rectangle on the backing sheet. It really does work great. My biggest problem with my story is that it has fictional me giving or trading away all my typewriters but the one I'm using to write the story. And figuring out which one that would be is an emotional puzzle!

7:39 PM  
Blogger Richard P said...

Hey, that's a good idea for the backing sheet. I'll add it to our guidelines!

9:37 PM  
Blogger Mike A. said...

Funny. Like minded people think alike. I made up such a guide sheet a few weeks ago. I found it easier than listening to the bell.

As for hyphenating... the tough part is trying to figure out where to jam one in. Sometimes my brain is going so fast it outruns my fingers and my line trails off to the right. Errgh...

5:18 AM  
Blogger Bill M said...

Oh, the wold of digital. One hiccup and all comes crashing down. I'll take the old days of the real AT&T and MaBell any day. Redundant of everything and then more redundancy.

Good idea on the 4 X 7 challenge.

6:31 AM  
Blogger Ted said...

dang, I heard about that CenturyLink outage, condolences. luckily I'm on some other node. I'd get real twitchy.. :P

9:12 PM  
Blogger Tiago MB said...

I hope that blizzard helps your writing and creative process. Thanks for the always nice content you share.

6:58 AM  
Blogger DonN said...

There's a type size you forgot to mention: 11, Brother where art thou? And many Oly SF's too...

12:30 PM  

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