Saturday, 10 May 2014

More fun with indexing

The index has gone to the publisher and come back as a concordance. This is a new process for me, and it looked clever and helpful – until I started checking what the indexing software had done with my original list. First of all, for some reason, I noticed that “White, Hayden”, whom I only mention once (and one time too many), has got a long row of page numbers. On closer examination, it included fifty shades of white, including White Witch in Narnia.

Henry James and William James were of course brothers, but they are still two separate people with an entry each, while the concordance also suggests a reference to King James the Third (from a counterfactual novel).

For “Wolf, Mark”, “Wolf, Maryanne” and “Wolf, Shelby Ann”, the concordance has picked up Max's wolf suit in Where the Wild Things Are, wolf pack in The Hunger Games and the epomymous character in Emily Gravett's Wolves.

The young adult author Lucy Christopher got references to Christopher Robin, and the critic Jacqueline Rose to Rose, the sister in The Tunnel.

I have a theoretical discussion of animal characters in fiction, but I don't want references to any kind of animal mentioned in passing in text analysis. Likewise, I only have a few pages on representation of society and family, but apparently both words appear in abundance in my book. I should have anticipated it.

And of course the concordance doesn't know that if I discuss a novel on eight pages I probably only mention the title on the first and the last. 


Stroppy Author said...

Indexing software is rubbish. Always. God knows why anybody buys it. If this means you have to do the index yourself, commiserations

Maria Nikolajeva said...

I would much have preferred to do it myself, but I don't need to explain to you that publishers have their own ideas about how things should be done. Anyway, it's done and off now.