Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The dreaded COPY EDIT
Besides query letters, there is nothing authors hate more than copy edits. These are the edits that come AFTER your editor has already had you do edits on the storyline and other things.
Sometimes, these can be a great help because another pair of watchful eyes catch things you missed that you wouldn't want to go out to the public.
Sometimes, not so much.
A copy editor can be blessing or a curse. If he or she doesn't 'get' the story, it can create a tug of war between what you want the story to say and what you DON'T want it to say. Those red pencil marks can create the devil with a nuance or an emotion, if the editor is on a different page.
We once had an editor who didn't get sarcasm. Since the story we were editing was heavily sarcastic, you can imagine the amount of red on every page. Explaining sarcasm to someone who doesn't get it is like explaining a blue sky to a dog.
Sometimes copy editors can be very school marmish, leaning toward perfect grammar in dialogue that makes it sound like your ten-year-old wrote it.
What can you do about it? Not much. Grin and bear it. Fight for the integrity of the story that will bear your name. You'll be the one who receives the letters and emails about it later. You have to work as part of a team with your editor, no matter how hard that is sometimes.
We are currently editing GHASTLY GLASS, the second book in the Renaissance Faire Mysteries. I'm not going to say whether this is a good edit or bad edit. It's just something you have to do if you want to get the book published with a traditional publisher.
If it gets to be too much for you, you can always go to a vanity press that will let you have it 'your way'. I've known a lot of authors who have done this rather than deal with the problem.
It's always your choice.
Back to the copy edits!
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