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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
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.