10 Things I’ve Learned From Copyedits

October 18th, 2011 | Blog Uncategorized


So, I opened my door on Saturday morning and found THESE on my doorstep:

*jumps up and down*
For those who don't know, copyediting is a different kind of editing. It's all done on paper, and your draft is COVERED in the strangest and most confusing marks EVER. Most of which–THANKFULLY–apply to the typesetter, not you. But there is a lot of very technical, very grammar and detail oriented stuff you DO need to address, which has taught me ten surprising things:
1. I should have to give back every single “A” I ever earned in English. (No really, I'm sure my copyeditor agrees.)
2. Whenever a copyeditor's note starts with, “Technically,” you're going to feel really dumb.
3. Spell check failed me. A LOT.
4. I apparently have NO IDEA how to use commas. (They are being added, deleted, and moved on pretty much every. single. page.)
5. I also seem to have no idea how to use hyphens. And there are a TON of words that are apparently supposed to be hyphenated. For example: good-bye. I have been spelling that wrong MY ENTIRE LIFE!!!!! #mindblow
6. I also have no idea what a dangling modifier is, but I apparently had a bunch of them that needed fixing. (And I still can't tell why the suggested change is better!)
7. But the bright side is, if you consistently break a grammatical rule (even totally unintentionally) you're allowed to keep breaking it. They just mark it as “consistent with the style of the MS.” Like… okay, we know this is wrong, but she keeps doing it so we're just going to let her and call it her “style.” 🙂
8. It's also a good idea, if you're going to capitalize something, to do it consistently every time you type the word. Sporadically switching back and forth seems to confuse copyeditors. A lot. 
9. Also, if you're going to make a statement toward the end of the book along the lines of: “X amount of months have passed” it would be helpful if X amount of time had actually passed in the timeline in the book. 
10. And, most importantly: fixing all this stuff takes FOREVER. 
Not gonna lie, this process is TEDIOUS. And I'm actually on a pretty tight deadline for it. So I'm sorry to already be doing this to you guys, but I'm going to take the rest of the week off blogging, and maybe part of next week–however long it takes to get. this. done. 
And then I promise I will be back to normal blogging again. I still have all kinds of exciting things I want to tell you guys about. But it will have to wait till I meet this deadline.
In the meantime, I'm also holding a pretty darn awesome contest–if I do say so myself–that you definitely don't want to miss out on. If you haven't entered yet, I strongly recommend you do that HERE.
Hope everyone has a great rest of the week. See you all once I turn these darn things in!

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