NOTE: I don't post to this blog super-duper often anymore, because I'm busy writing, well, books. (Read more about that here.) For more up-to-date, day-to-day ramblings, visit my Facebook page.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bless Your Copy Editor

I have just received the copyedited manuscript of The Key and the Flame, and I have to say, I was nervous opening the package. I've been a professional copy editor for more than twenty years and I've edited hundreds of books. I've circled, underlined, questioned, commented, and crossed out. I've composed queries on Post-Its only to tear them off and reword them more kindly. I hope I've come across as being helpful, not snarky or self-righteous. Because, you know, writing is hard. And I was taking my red pencil to somebody's baby.

But karma can be, well ... you know.

So it was with a great sigh of relief that I thumbed through the manuscript pages and saw that my my copy editor had been kind. Questions were tactfully posed, editing was reserved, even the penmanship (pencilmanship?) was neat. Thank you, Anonymous Copy Editor, for reminding me that it's Lewis and Clark, not Louis and Clark (ugh! How could I miss that?). And thank you for constructing the exhaustive style sheet of all my weird character names, for checking to see if the Waffle Emporium was a real place (it isn't), and for reading the text closely enough to notice that some characters don't remember past events quite accurately (which is intentional). Reading the forest as well as the individual trees is the copy editor's task, and mine did hers (or his) quite well. I do bless you, whoever you are, as I hope I've been blessed myself.

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