Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Boyne Berries Magazine - Final Proof

Just corrected the final proof of our magazine and emailed it back to the printers. There's this dread that you have made some terrible mistake, left out a full stop somewhere or included a superfluous comma.

Seriously it's amazing what can pass the eye of an untrained copy editor. It's also amazing how careless some writers can be with punctuation. Is it worse in poetry or prose? Hard to say actually. In theory prose should have standard punctuation I suppose but that doesn't always happen. Unusual punctuation in prose can enhance a piece. Though only if it's very carefully used. Otherwise the reader (or the magazine editor) just thinks it's bad or careless punctuation.

In poetry there are no punctuation rules are there? The same thing surely applies as in prose - the punctuation must enhance the reading experience not come between the writer and the reader. As an editor you sometimes wish poets would just omit punctuation altogether and leave it to the reader to figure it out rather than be careless and slapdash about it.

In any case the rule must be: learn all you can about punctuation first then decide how and when it is better to break the rules. Anyway I've added a few punctuation marks here and there in the prose and poetry in this issue, only a few mind you, and deleted a few more. I'm looking forward to the authors getting back to me and complaining about my inteference.


Máire T. Robinson said...

When will it be out? Looking forward to reading it!

Michael Farry said...

Launch is taking place in Trim on 25 March. On sale from that date.