Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

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Bob Farmer
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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Bob Farmer » June 27th, 2021, 2:05 pm

The most obvious misspelling is on the cover of the Tannen version of The Encyclopedia of Card Tricks. Ed Mishell, a lawyer/artist, misspells "Encyclopedia." And in another book (Cliff Green?) Mishell has a hand with six fingers.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Ted M » June 27th, 2021, 6:23 pm

I have to admit I had a great fondness for Colon, MI's motto as the "Magic Capitol of the World."

Such a charmingly grand claim, with such a charmingly glaring error.

Now they're just the "Magic Capital of the World," and it ain't the same.

I used to have the old motto on a coffee cup. I was very sad when it broke. A friend gifted me a classic-motto bumper sticker, though, so it does live on.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby JHostler » June 27th, 2021, 7:26 pm

It's just too bloody easy to self-publish these days, and bad writers often have no clue how bad they really are.
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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 27th, 2021, 8:27 pm

It's all a matter of having a proofreader who is smarter than the writer. Having a proofeader who is as stupid as the writer doesn't help.
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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Leo Garet » June 28th, 2021, 11:41 am

Ted M wrote:I have to admit I had a great fondness for Colon, MI's motto as the "Magic Capitol of the World."

Such a charmingly grand claim, with such a charmingly glaring error.

Now they're just the "Magic Capital of the World," and it ain't the same.

I used to have the old motto on a coffee cup. I was very sad when it broke. A friend gifted me a classic-motto bumper sticker, though, so it does live on.


I like it. Capitol, I mean.

I kant help wandering iff it was'nt a spellin or tie-pin errror. Its fyne has his.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Fredrick » June 28th, 2021, 3:41 pm

JimKane wrote:"How Time Flys" - from the U.F. Grant: 'Presto Clock Vanish' prop; Grant/Mak.

I don't know if the classic 'Presto Clock Vanish' is a prop that Mak still sells; but, if they do, I hope they never change the misspelling on the prop - if they did, it might just ruin all of magic.

Jim,

It looks like the Presto Clock Vanish is still manufactured. Plus they’re still using the same stencil . Fortunately the webmaster has the correct spelling in the copy. https://www.makmagic.com/product-popup.asp?prodid=P7232

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby erdnasephile » June 28th, 2021, 4:35 pm

The best part about seeing this thread rise again was being able to once again read a post by the dearly departed Matthew Field who was one of the standout editors in magic.

He is very sorely missed.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby JimKane » June 28th, 2021, 5:23 pm

Fredrick wrote:
JimKane wrote:"How Time Flys" - from the U.F. Grant: 'Presto Clock Vanish' prop; Grant/Mak.

I don't know if the classic 'Presto Clock Vanish' is a prop that Mak still sells; but, if they do, I hope they never change the misspelling on the prop - if they did, it might just ruin all of magic.

Jim,

It looks like the Presto Clock Vanish is still manufactured. Plus they’re still using the same stencil . Fortunately the webmaster has the correct spelling in the copy. https://www.makmagic.com/product-popup.asp?prodid=P7232

~ fredrick


Here's what's interesting: I have a Tannen's Catalog, either #5 from '66 or #8 '70, which also corrects the spelling in the ad-copy to: "Flies" - just as you have cited in your link above - yet, the hand-drawn artwork renders the prop by including the misspelling of "Flys" on the illustration of the tray/board itself.

I think it reasonable to assume that since the copy-writers were aware of the misspelling on the prop back in the mid/late 60s - and, subsequently corrected the error in their own copy - Grant/Mak must have been made aware of the error as well; but, for whatever reason, chose to never make the correction. Perhaps they found the routine played "bigger" if kids noticed the spelling error and began shouting out - sort of like an added 'kicker' to the climax - milking the routine for more time, more laughs, and, audience participation.

Perhaps...

Or, perhaps Grant/Mak just didn't care to cut a new set of metal stencils; and, simply let those props "Fly" out of the warehouse with the misspelling.

I don't own this prop; but, if I did, I could certainly want the misspelled version - it's classic!

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 28th, 2021, 7:10 pm

Just. Didn't. Care.
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Al Schneider
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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Al Schneider » October 1st, 2021, 1:37 pm

My turn.
I have written a great deal.
I am terrible at writing.
The cost of hiring an editor would be more than I would make selling the book, as has been mentioned here.
I flunked English three times in college.
People offer to edit some of my work.
I did it once. Took a couple of months.
I can't live with that.
I decided to take a writing class at the local university.
As I am older and the class was free, I was required to get permission from the instructor.
I took a pile of books I had written to show him I was serious.
I told him how much I made a month (It is not much).
His eyes got big and he said he wished he could do that.
So, I have decided the ones criticizing my wryting are rigt.
I will nevr write another book again.
The single absolute truth is that we don't know.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Tarotist » October 1st, 2021, 3:03 pm

I have written six books and am about to publish the seventh. Some of them have been edited and some have been proofread. I don't always agree with the editing but I always agree with the proofreading. However, I find the proofreading irritating since about 80% of it consists of commas either non existent or in the wrong place. I am not terribly good at commas I am afraid.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 1st, 2021, 5:35 pm

Commas are tough.
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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Tarotist » October 1st, 2021, 8:32 pm

Commas are indeed tough. I have never studied writing or related things such as grammar, spelling etc; I can write fairly well but it all comes from osmosis, reading books rather than anything else. Virtually everything else including punctuation has entered my subconscious mind except commas!

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby AJM » October 2nd, 2021, 9:55 am

Corner-person Begrudger

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 2nd, 2021, 11:37 am

Mark, you don't know how to use a semi-colon, either; it's not so simple.
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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Joe Mckay » October 2nd, 2021, 4:27 pm

Mark? What is your next book? I am a big fan of your writing!

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Joe Mckay » October 2nd, 2021, 4:28 pm

I am really bad at being and been. I literally have to guess every time I use one or the other.

Can anyone give me tips on how to use them?

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Jack Shalom » October 2nd, 2021, 4:51 pm

Give an example of an instance where you would be confused between the two.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Joe Mckay » October 2nd, 2021, 5:22 pm

Jack Shalom has always being a big inspiration to me.

Jack Shalom was being really funny last time I spoke to him.

Jack Shalom has never being bad at magic.

Jack Shalom has never been to Las Vegas.

Jack Shalom has never being out-witted by a coin magician.

------------

I think I am getting better at using them. I think being involves somebody doing something. And been involves something that occurred in the past. But I am sure there are exceptions to this rule that I keep stumbling across.

I have Asperger's syndrome (and bad hearing). As a kid I used to pronounce line as lion. So I think my brain has trouble with words that sound the same.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Tarotist » October 2nd, 2021, 8:58 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Mark, you don't know how to use a semi-colon, either; it's not so simple.


I have been told by a couple of people, one of whom has sold well over ten million books to the public, that I am a "gifted writer". Thank God they didn't look at the commas and semi-colons!

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Tarotist » October 2nd, 2021, 9:03 pm

Joe Mckay wrote:Mark? What is your next book? I am a big fan of your writing!


So am I...........
However, to answer your question my next book which is due out sometime in October is entitled "The Royal Road to Stage Hypnotism"

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Jack Shalom » October 2nd, 2021, 11:13 pm

Joe Mckay wrote:Jack Shalom has always being a big inspiration to me.

Jack Shalom was being really funny last time I spoke to him.

Jack Shalom has never being bad at magic.

Jack Shalom has never been to Las Vegas.

Jack Shalom has never being out-witted by a coin magician.

------------

I think I am getting better at using them. I think being involves somebody doing something. And been involves something that occurred in the past. But I am sure there are exceptions to this rule that I keep stumbling across.

I have Asperger's syndrome (and bad hearing). As a kid I used to pronounce line as lion. So I think my brain has trouble with words that sound the same.


First things first:

"Been" always takes the helping verb "To have"
I have been, s/he has been, you have been...

"Being" never takes the helping verb "to have"

She was being sarcastic with me; You were not being serious, were you?


I think if you get that clear, everything else will fall into place for you.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 4th, 2021, 6:43 pm

Unless recording speech; don't write by ear.

Just look what they did to the semicolon ;)

Don't become an abcedearian,

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Tarotist » October 4th, 2021, 7:24 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Unless recording speech; don't write by ear.

Just look what they did to the semicolon ;)

Don't become an abcedearian,

Monty Pynchon


Oddly enough I do write by ear. I never plan a thing. As for the semi colons a lot of the people who read my books do not have a British education and won't know the difference.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Dave Le Fevre » October 5th, 2021, 4:34 am

Tarotist wrote:Oddly enough I do write by ear
As is so often the case, I find that you and I are in accord.

At school, having to write an essay was dreadful for me. Words simply would not flow. Equally unable to do a précis.

Many decades later, writing a long article for a now-defunct conjuring forum, I simply wrote what I would have said were I speaking. And people commented that I had a talent for writing. I was genuinely astonished to read that.

And at that point I realised that when I write about something in which I'm interested and (to some extent) knowledgeable, then if I simply visualise myself explaining it by voice and write down my speech word for word, it works. Well, it works for me, anyway. Each to their own.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Tarotist » October 5th, 2021, 8:14 am

I suspect the secret to good writing is to read a lot and somehow the rest flows like osmosis. I have never studied how to write but I am constantly reading something or other and I think that has a lot to do with it. You somehow subconsciously pick up the grammar, spelling and phrasing of words and expressions. Perhaps not the commas and semi colons though..................

When I was a kid at school my English teacher said that "he shows great promise. His literary style is fluent and individual". I have always remembered that and decided that one day I would do something about it. Now that I am nearly dead I have finally got around to it. My hypnotism book will be out shortly then I shall take a rest until I figure out what else to write about.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Dave Le Fevre » October 5th, 2021, 9:42 am

Tarotist wrote:I suspect the secret to good writing is to read a lot and somehow the rest flows like osmosis
I think that that's very true. As a child, I was (so I'm told) always reading. I remember breaking the system of the local public library by taking out some books, taking them home, reading them all, and returning them the same day in order to take out more books. Apparently nobody else had ever done that before. (It was in the 1950s, when systems were perhaps less flexible. Or more flexible - who knows?)

However, one can still remain ignorant of certain grammatical rules. I always looked upon semicolons as similar to commas, and I invented my own system of logical punctuation. My secondary school teacher told me that while my method was "interesting", I had to learn correct punctuation.

There are numerous rules of grammar and punctuation which people break unknowingly. And while reading a lot may make the writing flow (though that took several decades for me), one has to learn the rules consciously. I don't think that such rules are absorbed by osmosis. Though I may well be mistaken.

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 5th, 2021, 1:09 pm

"There are numerous rules of grammar and punctuation which people break unknowingly."
You broke one right there.
Should be, "There are numerous rules of grammar and punctuation which people unknowingly break."
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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Dave Le Fevre » October 5th, 2021, 5:01 pm

... which rather makes my point.

Thank you, Richard. I live and learn, as always. Being no expert, I hadn't been aware that it was incorrect. Is ending a sentence with an adverb considered an error?

Not at all surprised, though. And indeed, when I typed that post, I put I'll bet that there are grammatical errors in this post, but I removed it before posting. :D

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 5th, 2021, 5:34 pm

I don't pay attention to anything other than egregious grammatical errors in internet postings. No point. And everyone is writing without an editor!
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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » October 8th, 2021, 9:28 pm

chetday wrote:I revised my third novel off and on for over twenty years before finally putting together a Kindle version. I've been through that book, page by page, at least thirty times, and I'd bet a dime to a donut that if I read it again today I'd find at least one typo that I'd missed. It really is virtually impossible to catch every error by oneself. And having three eagle-eyed proofreading friends still isn't a guarantee for 100% clean copy. Hiring a professional is a fine idea, but, as Richard pointed out, the return on investment where books are concerned is a haphazard thing at best, especially these daze of info overload.

I should also add that my first two novels, which were published by Simon & Schuster's paperback division, each contained a typo or two that were missed by the company's editors and by yours truly in the galley proofs.

With all that said, as much as I dislike finding typos and other errors while reading magic books, I'm quite forgiving for this genre because so many works in the field are labors of love by non-professional writers with limited budgets. If the magic in a book rolls my socks down and makes me think "Wow," then any misspellings, comma splices, misplaced modifiers, and other goofs just don't matter that much to me.


Chet you are one hell of a writer!

Do you ever incorporate any of the characters, plots, themes, and/or segments from your novels into your patter?

I like to wrap some of my magic up inside of stories. Do you ever like to do that?

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby magicam » October 9th, 2021, 4:37 pm

I've enjoyed reading this thread, with all its meanderings, and in that spirit offer another.

In the 16th through 18th centuries, writers expected their words to be punctuated ("pointed") by the compositor. There are exceptions of course, but the vast majority of manuscripts from this era read like portions of The Sound and the Fury. :lol:

Punctuation is not difficult if you know what you want to say and understand the basics of punctuation. It's all about the rhythm of the author's words and writing. It is as essential as the words themselves if one desires clarity in writing (among other things). Just as publishers in the 19th and 20th centuries developed their own "house styles" of editing and punctuation, so do individuals as their writing matures and takes on, consciously or not, a distinct personality.

The rhythm, and meaning, of punctuation also changes over time; for example, the semi-colon of today was not used the same way in the 17th century. Modern readers of a 17th century work immediately sense the different feeling of the old written words.

P.S.: What's with the current trend of substituting "to" for "with," as in "The students were associated to the campus car club"?

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby chetday » October 10th, 2021, 4:05 pm

Alfred, thanks for your kind words about my writing.

As for your question about adapting anything from my novels into my magic, my short answer is "No, I've never done that." I'm going to quote my dear departed mom as the short reason behind my short answer. When I sent her a copy of my first novel after it was published in 1987, I waited a few days before calling to get her opinion.

"What did you think about my book, Mom?"

Long pause.

Then: "I don't know how my sweet boy could write such a nasty and violent book."

Though I didn't try to explain it to my mother I write the fiction I write because I'm blessed/cursed with a wicked imagination. I don't understand this imagination since in real life I'm a nerdy softy who puts worms back on lawns after heavy rains so they won't dry out and die in the sun. I also lack sufficient coin to spend years on a shrink's couch to help me figure out exactly why I write novels about super nice people whose lives are impacted by totally sicko creeps.

Keeping the above in mind, many years ago I did give a bit of thought to tapping into my wicked imagination to beef up (so to speak) the script for a version of Cannibal Cards, but I decided for my own safety only a fool would perform for an audience that would appreciate such patter.

Personally, I mainly enjoy watching magic performed without stories or patter. I'd write something mean about magicians being lousy story tellers, but that would be an unsupported generalization given the fact that I haven't associated with magicians in person since 1985-1990, so I won't try to make that case.

I will confess, though, that I most appreciate visual magic that drops my socks and triggers the kind of endorphin rush that comes from running ten hard miles or eating an entire Carolina Reaper pepper. I'll add that I haven't run ten hard miles since the mid-90's, and I get my hot pepper thrills these days from watching YouTube videos.

Here's a fond memory that has some relevance to what I'm trying to express: I hung out on occasion with Jon Racherbaumer when my late wife and I lived in New Orleans. I loved Jon's magic because he let the work speak for itself, with a minimum of explanations as to what was happening or associated stories. I always found this approach interesting because when I knew him Jon loved words and stories (of course he still does), and yet he was sparing in his use of both when caressing the pasteboards. I'd sometimes get home in the wee hours so wired on coffee and Racherbaumer magic after post-SAM club sessions in all-night restaurants that I wouldn't even bother to go to bed because my head would be racing with thoughts about what I had just seen. Al Schneider's work comes to mind here, too. For me, both Jon and Al create and perform "real magic" without cluttering the mystery with a dumb story or too many words of explanation. Real magic is, well... almost real.

I think story and magic can be successfully combined, but I also believe it's a whole lot harder than most magicians realize. A key to success that seems vital to me is to focus on audience reaction when trying to marry magic to story or story to magic (there is a difference). Stories have to be tweaked and improved on, repeatedly, when they're told interactively to live human beings. Just as written stores generally get better with successive drafts, verbal stories should also be revised with audience reactions in mind. When you've revised and improved a story to a point where it equals the quality of the magic, you'll see it in your audience because most people appreciate a good story more than they appreciate a good card trick. I suspect many magicians screw up the magic/story relationship because they egotistically believe the clever stories they've wedded into their magic are spectacular when, in reality, their audience may well find the stories trite, silly, stupid, or just plain boring and juvenile. This ego-related curse of human nature is also true of fiction writers, of course, as the sorry sales of my novels dramatically prove!

Finally, Alfred, good luck with wrapping some of your magic in stories. :)

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » October 10th, 2021, 9:24 pm

Chet, thanks so much for your detailed, fascinating and thought-provoking response! Yes, I do like to wrap some of my magic in stories. But I kind of like to mix'em and match'em, sometimes using the very direct, straightforward approach you referred to, with very little patter, and sometimes, no words at all, such as here, for example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbycaeJvxzI

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby chetday » October 11th, 2021, 2:50 pm

Alfred, thanks for the link to the video. That's exactly the kind of visual magic that I enjoy so much. :)

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Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » October 11th, 2021, 6:38 pm

chetday wrote:Alfred, thanks for the link to the video. That's exactly the kind of visual magic that I enjoy so much. :)


Chet, thank you very much! I'm happy you enjoyed it.


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