Monthly Archives: August 2012

About Being an Editor

I’ve been thinking about what editing means to me. How did it happens, and why it became important to me – to edit someone’s writing.

I’ve been reading ever since I can remember. It all started with mangas (Japanese comics) and my love for animes (Japanese animations). My love for reading grew bigger, especially after J.K. Rowling made Harry Potter. Years went by, and my book shelf are full with books (mostly mangas and fictions). Having read all those books, it gave me knowledge on what makes a good writing, but more importantly, how to write properly.

I can’t say that Bahasa Indonesia was my favourite subject when I was still in school. But since it’s way better than those science subject (except Biology, cause I loved it), I enjoyed the subject. To this day, it still amazes me how Bahasa Indonesia have so many rules and grammars. Don’t get me started on the vocabularies. I’m an Indonesian, been speaking the language my whole life, and I still need my Indonesian Dictionary, just to make sure that I write it properly.

I took the first editing ‘job’ two years ago, when my friend needed an editor for an academic journal in my major. At that time, I realized, as smart as my fellow International Students can be, they still make mistakes in their journals! Of course, by some people editing is a perfectionists job, because flaws are always there.

I disagree.

As a reader, I think nothing is more annoying than simple mistakes in a writing. Whether it’s in a novel, an ad, a journal, anything. Simple mistakes like typographical errors (in short, typos) ruins the entire reading experience, at least for me. I once read a book from one of my favourite Indonesian writers, and was very disappointed cause the writer (or maybe the editor) mixed up the names of the characters! I tweeted my disappointment to the writer and I told him that the next prints should not have that mistake (I read the first edition). It was disappointing cause it was the biggest publishing company in Indonesia! The editor(s) should not make a stupid mistake like that!

When I edit, at least I read the draft three times, with at least two days in between. I usually fix the typos first, so it doesn’t ruin my reading experience. After that, I read the entirety of the writing, the idea behind each paragraphs and how it relates to the next. This second phase takes longer than the first, obviously. The final phase, I proofread the draft for typos (again, in case I miss anything) and my notes about the writing.

Stressful? Of course. But I enjoy the entire process. The look on the writer when I told them about the typos, comments about the story and characters, it’s all worth it.

All said and done, will I be a real editor? We’ll just wait and see 🙂

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The Not-So-Amazing Life of @aMrazing – a book by Alexander Thian

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I made a draft of my review before, but one thing led to another, I lost it. It took a while for me to remember what I wrote, but here it is.

I’ll say this proudly: I’m one of those “lucky people” who pre-ordered this book way before Eid-ul Fitr, therefore got the chance to read it firsthand! Too bad I didn’t get the quoted book, though.

Moving on.

I followed Alex on Twitter for less than a year now, and I’m still enjoying his tweets. I first read his published writing on Cerita Sahabat, where he wrote several short stories. Among all the writers in that book, his stories are among the best ones, and definitely the ones I enjoyed the most. That’s why when I heard about this book, I wasted no time to pre-order it, with high expectations in my head.

And boy oh boy my expectations did not fail me. He delivered this book very nicely. It’s like you’re sitting around after a long day of work with Alex himself in a coffee shop, and he’s telling you stories. Quite relaxing, so to speak.

And not only did he share his funny stories, he also shared his life-changing story that are not only true, but it gives you – the readers – a chance to learn from his lesson. You laugh and cry with him while you read this book.

My favorite part of reading a book: finding the mistakes! (I’m sorry, it’s the bitch-editor-part of me speaking!). The editor(s) at GagasMedia really did their job well here, cause I only found one mistake, and it’s a minor one, so I don’t think people will notice it. It won’t change your experience when you read this book either, so all in all, it’s still good 🙂

I must say that I really enjoyed reading this book, and I expect more books from Alex in the years to come 🙂

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Perahu Kertas (2012)

I needed a day to think about what I want to write about this movie, cause I had a hard time deciding what I feel about the movie. I know I was excited to watch this movie, partly because it’s an adaptation from one of my favorite Indonesian writer, Dewi ‘Dee’ Lestari.

For you who haven’t read the novel, Perahu Kertas (or Paper Boat, in English) is a story about two youngsters Kugy and Keenan, where they tried to find their role and passion in life. The story revolves around these two, with Neptune as their witness. Curious? It’s a really interesting story by Dee, although I must say it’s not my favorite among all her works.

Aside from the story, I really enjoyed the casts. Hanung Bramantyo and Dee picked the perfect casts, from the peculiar Kugy (Maudy Ayunda), cool and collected Keenan (Adipati Dolken), lovely couple Noni (Sylvia Fully) and Eko (Fauzan Smith), the young curator Wanda (Kimberly Ryder), the mature, almost Goddess-like Luhde (Elyzia Mulachela), and the Knight in shining armor Remi (Reza Rahardian). Overall, I’m happy with the casts, cause they played their parts perfectly.

Now, my favorite part of the movie: the scoring. I fell in love with Dee after the Rectoverso album, and I’m glad she’s involved in the scoring of Perahu Kertas also. The soundtracks are perfect for the movie. Not to mention Maudy Ayunda’s voice is perfect in singing Perahu Kertas, the main soundtrack for the movie. You can see that I said the word “perfect” many times, and trust me, it’s lack of better words.

I must say that I had a mixed feeling about the movie after I stepped out of the theatre, and my friend, with whom I watched the movie with, haven’t read the novel, so she can’t really say much about it. Throughout the movie, I knew it was not that far from how Dee described the settings and characters. I enjoyed it, but I felt something missing from the movie. I hope it’s only the fact that there are two parts of the movie, and maybe I’ll feel complete after I watch the second part.

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The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

It’s been a while since I reviewed a movie in my blog. Not that there are no movie worth writing about. Mostly I did not have enough words to express what I felt about the movie. For example, The Avengers. I rated the movie 5 out of 5 stars on my RottenTomatoes account, and I still can’t explain why I enjoyed the movie so much.

But this time it’s different. My head’s filled with words about this particular movie the minute the credit rolled.

As always, I will not give any spoilers about the movie. This is merely my review, and it might sound too subjective, since I love it so much.

For starters, the movie is actually the continuation of The Dark Night. If you haven’t watched it, I suggest you do. It’s best if you also watch Batman Begins beforehand, to really grasp the flow of the story. If you don’t, then I suggest you just shut your mouth and enjoy the movie to its fullest.

The story began after 8 years of Harvey Dent’s death, and Gotham City was at peace. Or so the Mayor thought. New villain’s in town, and he’s not clownin’ around. No offense there, Joker. Again, this new villain, Bane – like the previous villains – tried to correct the Gotham, with his own ideology. That’s basically the plot, so you’re not completely blanked out about the movie.

Now, where to begin the review…. The Characters?

I loved the new characters in this movie. Anne Hathaway is perfect as Catwoman. Marion Cotillard is definitely hotter than the previous “Bat-girls”. Bane? Well I personally love Tom Hardy. However, as a villain, nothing beats Heath Ledger as The Joker. Not even close, at that.

Next, the story.

I think The Dark Knight is better in terms of storyline than The Dark Knight Rises. However, I like the ending of The Dark Knight Rises better. One thing to highlight about The Dark Knight Rises is the fact that Batman is, and always will be, Bruce Wayne. Kinda miss that fact in The Dark Knight. I’ll say that in The Dark Knight Rises, Batman is more….human-like.

And now, my favorite part of the review, the action sequences.

The Dark Knight Rises definitely win in this aspect over The Dark Knight. There were some scenes where my jaw literally dropped by how awesome the action sequence was. I even considered on buying a Bat-pod because Catwoman looked so good in it. (No, it wasn’t a spoiler. There are lots of pic of Anne Hathaway in the Bat-pod anyways)

All in all, in so many ways, The Dark Knight might be better than The Dark Knight Rises. At least, that’s what some of my friends thought. However, I still think The Dark Knight Rises is better, in terms of cast and action sequences.

In the end, Christopher Nolan has done it again. He may disappointed me with Batman Begins, but he made it up on The Dark Night. This time, he effed my head so bad with (I’m not sure about this) the end of the trilogy. The ending might not be perfect, but it definitely excited me about what will Warner Bros produce next for Batman. If you love Batman, or superheroes, this is your kind of movie. Fight for the tickets!

The rating? Perfect 10 from me.

P.S.: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT bring kids to this movie. It’s not a family-outing movie like The Amazing Spiderman, where the villain is a lizard. Too many violence for kids to see. So please, save your kids from boredom and keep them safe in their blankets at home, instead of annoying other people who really want to enjoy the movie in the cinema.

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