Saturday, February 19, 2022

Changing Times by Helen Henderson

Windmaster Legacy by Helen Henderson
Click the cover for purchase information

As I worked on preparing for the upcoming release of Fire and Amulet, I was struck by how things changed since my first established work.   

Those early pieces consisted of numerous messy drafts handwritten on lined notepaper. Next came the laborious and sometimes aggravating transformation of the drafts into double-spaced, typed manuscripts. This required mastering the skill of erasure and the ability to replace the paper in the typewriter for perfect alignment for the key strike to make the correction. The finished manuscript went into a box and consigned to the tender care of the postal service. Things such as antique photographs for the covers were often hand-carried to the editor to prevent their loss.

Review of the galleys required more than a careful line by line check. Unlike printing today with digital printers and modern word processors, since production was by offset printing, text autoflow and automatic pagination didn't exist. Changing the wrong word could mean the redo of several pages. Wanting a rewrite of several paragraphs, or heaven forbid, an entire scene resulted in a stern request from the editor to justify that significant a change. Which meant that the great idea you just had could not be used.

Magnetic card readers provided a means to save the work and easier corrections. Instead of retyping pages, mere reprinting accommodated text shifts and repagination. Then came large floppy disks. Yes, we used to crack the cases of corrupted floppies to remove the disks inside. The resulting games of frisbee provided entertainment in the wee hours of the morning. Desktop computers and early word processors made things even easier, but paper and pen remained the basis for drafting and brainstorming. Laptop computers allowed for writing while sitting on a riverfront bench watching boats parading up and down the channel.

Just as readers now have options besides printed books, so do writers. Writing the twist on a dragon shifter story, Fire and Amulet used even newer technology than my previous works -- a tablet. Until Trellier and Deneas' tale is available, it is a good time to read any of the fantasy romance series, the Windmaster Novels, you might have missed. 

To purchase the Windmaster Novels: BWL

~Until next month, stay safe and read. Helen

Find out more about me and my novels at Journey to Worlds of Imagination.
Follow me online at Facebook, Goodreads or Twitter.

Helen Henderson lives in western Tennessee with her husband. While she doesn’t have any pets in residence at the moment, she often visits a husky who have adopted her as one the pack. 


  1. I definitely remember those days. Also of having the manuscript rejected and returned in the box with coffee stains and even cigarette burns on the pages. Am waiting for your next book

  2. I typed my first novel (a short story) on an old typewriter. I loved how it "clicked" with every letter. Technology is great, but sometimes I long for simpler times.

    1. You're so right. The click and the bell every time you swung the return lever was very satisfying.

  3. I love the flexibility of modern software. It allows me to change anything anytime in my WIP. And I love the word search, and the spellcheck feature. This gives me freedom to let my creativity soar. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for the entertaining look back. I'm so grateful for all this technology!

  5. I still use pencil and paper to formulate the plot and timeline. My hand-written journal is priceless to me :)


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