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26 November 2008 @ 11:28 am
gettin’ there  

I’m down to the last 130 pages or so of copy edits. I’m also in the stage that I suspect most writers find themselves at when they’re going over a manuscript for the zillionth time: there are moments when I think, God, this is really good!, and others when I think, Oh, God, what was I thinking, this is awful. I’ve just finished going over one of the most climactic scenes in the book, and I think it really works (so, apparently, did my agent, who said she almost stopped reading the book to send me a shocked email at this scene), and I know other scenes do, but … still, part of the brain goes “worst! thing! ever!” :)

I desperately wish I had time to go over the manuscript at least once more before sending it out, though. I’ll get it one last time for the galleys and will be able to make final changes then, but a couple more days would be really helpful at this stage (*looks guiltily at Dublin Comic Con, which would have been those couple days, had I not gone…*). Really, though, what’s frustrating is that 95% of the copy edits could have been avoided. Del Rey sends a style sheet with the copy edits, and it simply *didn’t occur to me* that they might not refer back to the QUEEN’S BASTARD style sheet when they did the PRETENDER’S CROWN edits. I’ve used British spellings in these books, deliberately (for flavour, as it were), and I explained that in response to the TQB copy edits, and they apparently went “oh okay” and let me have my spellings. I just kind of figured they’d have that on file for this book, but instead am STETting all the ‘honour’ and ‘colour’ and ‘travelled’ and ‘defence’ and ‘curtsey’s throughout the manuscript. (Possibly it is sufficient to correct them on the actual stylesheet, but I would really, really hate to find out it wasn’t by way of having to correct all that spelling in the galley.) Next time, assuming I get to write more books in the Inheritors’ Cycle, I will include the corrected style sheet for TPC when it goes to the copy editor, and explain about using British spelling for flavour. :)

In the meantime, however, my *utterly splendid* husband went out and bought me a British dictionary so I could check my spellings (which, btw, are all correct) without asking him to look up words for me on the computer. He bought me the Concise OED, in fact, and I’ve been practically petting it and cooing over it. (It also justified my use of semi-colons, which I was *sure* I was using correctly, and I am, by God. Despite the CE replacing a lot of them with commas. AND it justified my choice to often use hyphens in words that we would not typically hyphenate today: as recently as a century ago *lots* of compound words we don’t hyphenate now were still being hyphenated, so it is a stylistically correct choice. Can you tell I’m smug? Because I’m smug. :))

Arright, off to do the last section. *zoomz*

(x-posted from the essential kit)
Current Mood: sillysmug
Kari Sperringla_marquise_de_ on November 26th, 2008 12:39 pm (UTC)
I am smiling here, because I am doing the same thing right now, but in reverse. My proofs are in front of me: I had to go forth and buy myself an American English dictionary to stop myself correcting 'color' back to 'colour' and 'traveled' back to 'travelled'. It's very strange to read myself spelled in US English.
I loved QB and I'm looking forward eagerly to PC, but it's reassuring to learn that you have your moments of doubt. I was talking about this process with desperance at the weekend and he assures me that it's common to all writers and not jsut the newbies like myself.
Best wishes!
kitmizkit on November 26th, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, it absolutely is. We all suffer from it.

*laughs* Ok, we need to trade manuscripts and do each other's proof reading, apparently. That's funny. :)
Kari Sperringla_marquise_de_ on November 26th, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
It's not just the spelling. You guys use Weird Proof Mark Ups...
Pamela: ADDjeditigger on November 26th, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)
GO GIRL. You fight for the proper use of punctuation.

I loathe the laziness that is the use of modern English. And while I respect wholly the role of a copyeditor, I know that some of us CAN use hyphens and semicolons properly. :)

I lust for the concise OED. The English geek in me wants it, precious.

Are you marking Thanksgiving at all over there in Ireland?
kitmizkit on November 26th, 2008 01:57 pm (UTC)
Well, in the CE's defense, probably in many of these cases a comma *would* do, except I want the slightly greater pause indicated by a semi-colon. These are stylistic choices, and I've made them deliberately. And I use them *liberally*, but that's also a stylistic choice for these books. Long, complex sentences with lots of supporting clauses. She has not, bless her, seen fit to change them all into shorter sentences, at least. :)

The Concise OED is in fact a thing of beauty. I've told Ted about eight times how splendid he is. :)

We're having a small Thanksgiving (which is to say, not many people, though probably a great deal of food) on Saturday, when at least one of our Irish friends likes us enough to come visit and eat. :)

That is an awesome icon. :)
Pamela: Did I leave the gas on?jeditigger on November 26th, 2008 02:10 pm (UTC)
I have to make sure I don't overuse semicolons, but then, I'm not writing the way you are, stylistically, and I understand completely what you mean about a period choice. They are everywhere in 18th and 19th century prose.

And like I said, I respect wholly a CE because it's a job I KNOW I could not do. I lack the attention to detail.

Ted seems to be made of awesome. He buys you an OED and he can make chocolate raspberry truffle brownies. Honestly, he should be cloned.

Thank you about the icon. It's so me. BUNNY!

EDIT: I meant to say that I have to make sure I don't overuse semicolons because I am so enamored of them. I always have been. :)

Edited at 2008-11-26 02:11 pm (UTC)
kit: tedmizkit on November 26th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
Ted is, in fact, made of awesome, and you are by far from the first to suggest he should be cloned. :)
wednesday childewedschilde on November 26th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
heh. the hyphen is a tricky and wily beast.
All Over The Mapjemck on November 26th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
I also commend, for your cooing, The Oxford Manual of Style. This is the current successor to the Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors. That was recommended to me by my first desk editor, now my non-negotiable copy editor and a woman totally made of awesome as far as this book biz is concerned.
kitmizkit on November 26th, 2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
How does one obtain a non-negotiable copy editor? I need one of those. o.o

Also I suspect I need an Oxford Manual of Style. On general principle. :)

Edited at 2008-11-26 05:20 pm (UTC)
All Over The Mapjemck on November 27th, 2008 11:10 am (UTC)
Well, I am extremely fortunate in that aforesaid awesome editor worked at my original publisher before she morphed into a freelance copyeditor on account of a husband's-job-related house move.

So when the question of copy-edits on the next book came up, I promptly said, can Lisa do that, please? Coz she knows my style/world better than anyone else and also, never, ever lets me get away with anything substandard. Then-Editor-who-knew-her-work, said, sure, fine.

Subsequently, in every book-related conversation, up to and including change of publisher, when the copy-editing question has arisen, I've said (nicely) unless you have a very convincing argument why not, I want Lisa (backed up by the you-are-going-to-lose-this-discussion-so-save-us-all-time-by-capitulating-now look I have perfected on my teenage sons).

Ta-dah, job done.

If you want to discuss this further, email me direct.
Geek of Weird Shitgows on November 26th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
Can you tell I’m smug? Because I’m smug. :))

*chuckle* Yes, but deservedly so.
Turning the Schmaltz up to 11: wall-epullthestars on November 26th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)


I abuse commas terribly. Horribly so.