Friday, September 09, 2005

It's Here

The copy-edited manuscript of Too Darn Hot arrived this morning.  I’ve put it on a table in my office, unopened.  It will stay unopened until Monday.

A reader left me a comment on my post in which I said I knew it was coming, I wasn’t looking forward to it, but I wasn’t wary because the last time I got the copy-edited manuscript from Ballantine it was fine.

Mapletree7 asked, “Fill us in.  What’s to dread?”

Any writer reading this probably knows.  For years I would get the copy-edited manuscript back and go nuts.  They put little yellow tags on a page when they’re questioning something.  When you open the package there seem to be hundreds of them.  And the questions they ask, for the most part, are ridiculous, annoying, stupid and enraging.  Example: What is an out building? What is a rep tie?  Who are Nick and Nora?  On and on. Some even rewrite your sentences.

But with my last book, This Dame for Hire, that didn’t happen.  The copy-edit was sensible and modest.  So I don’t dread it the way I have.  Still, you never know. It’s doubtful that  I got the same copy-editor I had last time.  If, when I open the package, I see a plethora of yellow tags my stomach will churn.  But I’ll try to be reasonable until I find something unreasonable.

I hope this answers the question.  I’d love to see outrageous edits from others.



kitty said...

I'm new to this process. What do you do with those questions? Do you answer them on seperate paper or are you expected to rewrite those sections? This reminds me of my senior term paper, which was on the rise of Nazism. I had devoted a meager one paragraph to Hitler's childhood and my teacher wondered whatinthehell Hitler had to do with Nazism ... and he was serious!

Sandra Scoppettone said...

If it's a question I answer it on the yellow tag. If it points to something in the manuscript and I wish to leave it as it was, I write stet. If what the copy-editor has suggested is acceptable I write Ok.

No copy-editor would ask that you rewrite a section or a paragraph. And if they've changed a sentence I write stet because I've never known a copy-editor to make a sentence better. On the other hand, no one is perfect, not even me. :)

Bill said...

My favorite copy-editing story is about the western novel I wrote in which the copy-editor changed "adobe walls" to "abode walls."

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Western? What was the title? Author? (I'm assuming it was not under your name.)

Weedlet said...

Found a lot of useful info on your site about term paper - thank you. Haven't finished reading it yet but have bookmarked it so I don't lose it. I've just started a term paper blog myself if you'd like to stop by