pbray: (wga-dexter)
This is the sixth time I've had this copyeditor, and I have to report that this is the lightest series of edits I've ever had. The queries took up less than one page.

I wish I felt that this was a sign that I've grown as a writer. Instead the pessimist in me is convinced that she missed giant gaping problems, so I've been staring at each individual word.

There are still some parts of the book that I like, which is a rarity at this stage of the process. I cracked up while reading the scene of Josan translating a poem--his life is very much in danger but at this particular moment he's ignoring everything else because he's obsessed with getting his terms correct. [livejournal.com profile] lnhammer I was thinking of you while I wrote this part--because I knew that if this were your book you'd have been able to come up with a nifty poem to stick in this spot, instead of the careful dodge* that I had to do.

Anyway, one last skim through at lunch looking at all the spots that are still tape-flagged, then off to mail it after work.

*Note: if the circumstances call for poetry and you don't feel up to the task, then make it clear that the lines included are a translation of the original, and have your viewpoint character mock how bad it is.

Ka-thud!

Dec. 5th, 2007 10:11 am
pbray: (Default)
Copyedits for THE FINAL SACRIFICE arrived yesterday. As usual, the special stuffed envelope was torn so there are tiny bits of gray crap all over the manuscript. There was also snow on it from being left out, but fortunately it was too cold to melt, so all I had to do was brush it off. Gotta love the holiday season "I'm overworked so I'm throwing your package anywhere I feel like" delivery service.

Edits due back in NY in a week, so I know what I'm doing this weekend.
pbray: (Default)
Writing retreat going well-- I accomplished much this morning, until I found that there was wireless internet :-)

One of the other authors also brought her copyedits, so we are commiserating together. I've made a complete first pass through the manuscript and am overall extremely happy. The copyedits were light and the author queries will be fairly easy to handle.

I believe I get special bonus points for misspelling the very first word on the very first page. Though in my defense, that word was Acknowledgments, which I spelled as Acknowledgements, and that page was hastily added to the bundle right before I mailed it.

In other writing news, yesterday's mail brought the royalty check for the The Sword of Change series. DEVLIN'S LUCK was released five years ago this month. I'm humbled by the fact that it's still in print, still generating cash.

It's a nice reminder that I do know how to write, as I prepare to plunge back into the second pass of the copyedits.
pbray: (Default)
I'm now going to reveal one of the secrets of being a published writer™. Being a writer isn't about the money or glamour, both of which are in chronically short supply. It's not about the thrill of seeing your name in print, nor the fun of learning new things that you can incorporate in your stories.

It's not about the the fans, nor the cons, nor the joy of accomplishment when you finally finish a book.

It's all about the office supplies.

Really, you have to trust me on this one. There is no writing dilemma that can not be solved by the acquisition of the appropriate office supplies. There is no greater thrill than the freedom to go into an office supply store and buy whatever you want, secure in the knowledge that it is a legitimate business expense.

And there is no greater proof of the importance of office supplies than when it comes to the copyediting process.

Last time I posted about copyedits, I included my checklist of supplies:

At least 2 freshly sharpened green pencils
1 pencil sharpener (I will obsessively sharpen the pencils throughout the process)
1 artist's eraser
1 pad of small Post-it notes or tape flags
Scrap paper or notepad
Reference sheet of CE symbols & abbreviations
Caffeine, chocolate and alcohol

But I forgot to highlight the most important supply of all: transparent Post-it tape flags, the kind that can be written on.

As I make my first pass through the manuscript, each time I find a correction I want to make, I mark the place with a transparent tape flag and write the correction on the flag.

When I'm ready for the final pass (which usually involves a suitable cooling off period), I go through each page and either copy the correction onto the manuscript itself, or decide that it wasn't necessary. The tape flag acts as a pressure release valve. Before I found these, I would sometimes make a correction on the manuscript, then wind up erasing it later. This way I only write on the manuscript after I've made my final decision.

Office supplies--is there nothing they can't do?

If you'd like to know more about what's involved in the copyediting process from an author's side, click here to read my previous post on the subject.

ETA This entry is a spam magnet, so I've turned off comments.
pbray: (Josan)
Pray for me.

Though by stroke of luck, Saturday is the bi-annual STAR writer's retreat. This year we're trying something new--rather than meeting at a member's house, we're taking over a nearby B&B, so we'll have both a common gathering space as well as individual writing rooms. And a hostess providing meals & snacks.

So anything I can't bang out tonight or tomorrow I can do Saturday, when I won't be tempted by the distractions I'd find at home.

Goal is to finish up by Sunday, photocopy the sucker, and then express mail it on Monday.
pbray: (Default)
Recommended supplies for dealing with copy-edits:

At least 2 freshly sharpened green pencils
1 pencil sharpener (I will obsessively sharpen the pencils throughout the process)
1 artist's eraser
1 pad of small Post-it notes or tape flags
Scrap paper or notepad
Reference sheet of CE symbols & abbreviations
Caffeine, chocolate and alcohol

For those who are curious the details are behind the cut )

Reasons why I am grateful to my copy-editor:

The copy-editor helps me look my best. She's the friend who points out that you've got marinara sauce on your shirt, or that those shoes and pants really don't go together. She's the personal organizer who remembers when everyone's birthday is, and that Harold's new girlfriend is named Lisa, not Jill. When I'm convinced that I've thoroughly cleaned the room, she's the white-gloved inspector who finds the dust bunnies that I've missed.

She's not perfect, and I don't always agree with the changes that she makes. But in the end, she helps make the manuscript better, and that makes me look good to my readers.
pbray: (Default)
Copy-edits have been handed over to DHL, and will arrive at Bantam tomorrow morning.

I'll post on the process later when I have two brain cells to rub together. Despite the impression I may have given with my whining yesterday, overall the copy editor did a very good job and I'm happy with the finished product.

Funny moment of the day was the clerk at DHL asking me for advice on how to get started writing. She's known me ever since I sold my first book and began using Airborne (now DHL) to ship manuscripts back and forth, but this is the first time she's ever mentioned wanting to become a writer. I invited her to check out the local romance writers' group, which is always looking for new blood.
pbray: (Default)
Copy-edits continue. Brief whine: the copy editor apparently objects to the word here. In virtually all places where Josan thinks about his location, the word here is replaced by the island or the lighthouse.

I think by now the readers know he's a lighthouse keeper on a freaking island. We don't need to keep bludgeoning them over the head with the fact. It's okay for me to have a sentence that says He could no longer stay here.

It's the little things that drive you crazy in the copy-editing process.

But I will be strong. I will remind myself how much worse this could be. I will persevere, and one way or another these will be finished today.

Early afternoon update: Another 100+ pages done. Having left the island, we now see the word here being changed to in the village, in the city, at her home, in Karystos, etc. Grrr.

Update at 7PM: Made it to the end of the manuscript. Need to do one final skim through to ensure that all changes made sense, and then it gets dropped in the mail.

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