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Copy Edit versus the Cat

Yawn.


Just shy of the last chapter, Merlin decided to help out and put some of his writing cat energy into the manuscript. I caught him here mid-yawn.

You know that sentence with "only" from a few days ago? *facepalm* I don't think I read that sentence right or something--this is perhaps why I shouldn't do this when tired--because the CE moved only, didn't delete it. Um. My bad. Well, that's why we do more than one pass. Or more than two. Maybe more than three, if I have time.

Here's what the thing looked like after putting a flag on everything I decided I couldn't just stet/not stet at a glance, and might need to look up or justify or ponder or give some time to surrendering:

LOOK AT ALL THOSE FLAGS


In related news, I need to go look at the Historical Thesaurus of the OED tomorrow to find out if there's something more in period for bedsore and slagging. I find it hard to believe that pressure ulcers (i.e., bedsores) were an unknown problem until Florence Nightingale, and I likewise need a good word for slagging that wasn't born in the same decade as me and so darn British that it will confuse my American readers. (Wise thoughts on both these words welcome, O friendslist.)

Comments

merriehaskell
Nov. 15th, 2010 02:46 am (UTC)
Oh, the copyeditor is MOST DEFINITELY my friend. That's why this is all "versus the copy edit" and not "versus the copy editor."

Actually, my book had an in-house copyeditor and a freelance one, and they have both won my trust, admiration, and undying gratitude.

That said, there are points where the absolutely correct thing to do impedes the thing I was trying to achieve. Fiction is so different from non-fiction. I don't, for example, want perfect diction from my uneducated servant class.

Edited at 2010-11-15 02:47 am (UTC)
cathshaffer
Nov. 15th, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)
Oh, no wonder this is such a P.I.T.A. for you. They should know better than to "correct" the dialogue. That sucks. Actually, I have another friend that has had quite a bit of trouble with a copy editor trying to "correct" the technical jargon in her technical articles written for a technical audience.
merriehaskell
Nov. 15th, 2010 02:56 am (UTC)
I'll disagree there, because I think they're making sure that my choices are deliberate. That's the whole point, I think--they don't know what was in my brain, and they want to make absolutely sure that if I want it correct, it can be correct. I'm pretty sure they're doing their jobs and doing them well, and that it's not expected in fiction that all the edits will be accepted (or rejected).

Plus, some things are issues of style, and that's always worth arguing about. ;)
cathshaffer
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:00 am (UTC)
Hm, I don't know...in my short fiction galleys, I've never seen dialect and such marked up. And my understanding of the copy editor's art is that he/she is supposed to make a bible of your invented language, character names, dialect, magic system, place names, etc. and make sure you're consistent, not query every single thing that's different from the AP style book. In essence, you are being forced to copy edit your own manuscript, in self defense.
merriehaskell
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:13 am (UTC)
They made me a style sheet... and I think maybe you're reading too much into my exciting and multi-hued flags.

And its utterly and totally different than any short fiction galley I've ever seen--so much more to keep track of!--and I'm ecstatic that there's this much attention being paid to details I rather thoughtlessly glossed over. It's not all stet/not, either--there's a lot of things like, "You did X on page 24 and 62, but Y on 95 and 129, so which way do you want to address royalty?"
cathshaffer
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:15 am (UTC)
Well if you're happy, I'm happy. :-)
merriehaskell
Nov. 15th, 2010 03:21 am (UTC)
Oh, good. :)

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