Monday, September 24, 2007
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!"
Posted by Jessica Day George at 5:00 PM