Jessica Day George

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Copyediting Fairy came. . . .

Also known as the UPS man, the copyediting fairy leaves large padded envelopes on my doorstep which contain manuscripts, manuscripts which have been bled all over by a red pencil. Copyediting is what happens after all major changes have been made. The first edit, my editor (Melanie) sends me notes like, "This chapter is too long." and: "I don't get it, WHY is he helping the dragons?" And I rewrite and rewrite so that it all makes sense. And is also shorter. Melanie is big on shorter. I am big on long, loooong conversations and descriptions that are yes, only entertaining to me. So then the manuscript goes back to Melanie, who reads it over to see if it's better/faster/stronger, and then turns it over to the copyeditor. This is the person who makes sure that all my words are spelled correctly, and all my commas are in the right place. She also checks for repetitions, like someone saying "Amazing!" three times in a row or everyone in the room nodding like a bobble-head all the time. A big, scary job. She also checks for continuity to make sure that everyone's clothes and hair doesn't suddenly change color, and that things make sense, like why the villain is helping the dragons and what the status of Creel and Luka's relationship is. Yes, the manuscript the copyediting fairy dropped off is Dragon Flight, and yesterday when I glanced through it I started to moan. Not only has my brave and intrepid copyeditor found SCADS of little technical mistakes, but there are also copious notes from Melanie, who is not quite convinced that Creel and Luka's relationship is where we want it to be. This relationship has been giving me nightmares, people, NIGHTMARES! This is not a romantic book to me, so holding hands and gazing deeply into each other's eyes is just not gonna happen. But both astute early-draft-reader Amy J. Finnegan and Melanie and Amy the Agent have been crying, "More romance! But not in a kissy way!" To which I reply, as Marta would say, "GAH!"

4 comments:

Cayenne said...

So much fun! Especially the part about writing more romance. I think I'll stick to knitting and spinning--and reading your books, of course.

maribeth_kayla said...

Ahhh, the bad thing about getting published.....not getting everything you own way. But. Good Luck, hopefully everything will work out.

Cayenne said...

Thanks so much for coming to my book club last night! It was really fun having you there. You were great. I'm really sorry more of them didn't show up.

Carolyn said...

Stick to your guns! I agree with you. Not more romance. The charm of Dragon Slippers for me is the focus on the adventure not the relationships. Your humor is tops! Please don't muck it up with gazing deeply into each others eyes!!!