Saturday, 13 April 2013

Next step - copy edits.

I have the copy edits back from the copy editor, and I am very happy (and relieved). She wrote some lovely things about my book, and while I suppose they always are positive about the books editors have paid for them to edit, they felt like lovely compliments just when my confidence was sliding a bit. In education, people are looking for things they don't like, things that don't really work. She was very focused on things that did, which is very helpful because I can work on those in the sequel.

The manuscript, which she described as 'such a clean script!' is now completely covered with red corrections, some as small as an errant dot or comma, some a couple of words that scan better. I can hardly disagree with any of them, and of the short list of things to work on, only one really got me thinking how to solve it. Such a relief!

The copy edit process is also a great learning tool. The editor has pointed out stray Americanisms, old-fashioned writing style, anachronisms, formatting preferences for Del Rey UK, that sort of thing, that will make it easier to get those right from the start with future books. A great bonus for me, and free!

I also met a local writer. It turns out I have the writer of five published novels living right here in my home town, and she has just turned book 6 over to her agent. It was amazing to talk to someone who has been down the road before, has a real understanding of the publishing process...from the writer's point of view. She also has put me in touch with writing groups in the area, and I hope we can keep in touch, she really inspired me to stop worrying about what 'they' think and just ask. I think I've been anxious not to appear like I don't know what I'm doing, but in all honesty, the ONLY thing I know how to do is write, rewrite, polish and edit. As a lovely agent I met in the summer said, 'that's the bit we can't do...or we would be doing it instead of you.' I've been offered so much help from the publisher and my agent, I should just access it. The writing community is so generous, I am grateful to everyone who has encouraged and pushed me along. Which will be a theme this week when I write my acknowledgements, of course...

Last thing...this is a gratuitous picture of a badger. They come up to the front door to snaffle bird seed and steam up the window, and I finally got a close up of 'Small'. In this picture he was five feet away, and I stayed behind the door (because they can give a dangerous bite). He was so busy licking the stones, I had to whistle to get him to look back.

6 comments:

  1. Interesting, Rebecca. I'm a step behind you in this process... coming to the end of my work now on line by line edit, which will go back to my editor this week, hopefully. The MS looks a complete mess, lots of bubbles everywhere with comments from me and my editor, and corrections in red, blue, purple ... I'm quite worried how it's all going to end up looking. I know so little about the process :/

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  2. It's scary isn't it, especially when you've handed in a clean, tidy draft to start with. I'm keeping one for 'them', and accepting changes and tidying a draft up for me. That way I can see what it will look like when they've finished! But we do have the final say at the end. Plenty more rounds of refining to go yet!

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  3. I always like to keep a clean copy of every version. I don't even compare them. I just like to know that I could if I ever wanted to. I also like to know that I can track back if I ever need to, and that nothing is ever lost.

    Have fun with it. Other people's expertise is always a pleasure to behold. A lovely cover, a good copy-edit a proper proof... They all have their own value.

    So thrilled for you!

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    1. You're quite right, the copy edit cleaned up and finalised is lovely, my book looks better! I email myself regular drafts, so keep the different versions. The process, so far, is more fun than I expected, as I'm used to doing everything myself. It's lovely to have experts involved!

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  4. Great post on copy editing - I'm happy you are happy with the comments you received. :)

    The badger looks cute - but I agree with you staying behind the door - they are still wild and do attack easily. Funny though how brave they are!


    Jenny @ PEARSON REPORT

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    1. It's been a great experience so far, and I'm starting to realise there's a team of people who want my book to succees working towards the same goal. Lovely!

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