Saturday, June 18, 2016

Progress

I've spent the last week going over the copyedited manuscript of WHERE THE DEAD LIE. Once upon a time I would get my original paper manuscript back with the copyeditor's marks on it. Now it's all done electronically with Track Changes. I liked the old way much better. Now I have to sit in front of the computer for hours and hours going through each of the copyeditor's little bubbles. Then I make a duplicate of the file, leave in all the changes but take out the bubbles, print out a clean manuscript, and go sit someplace comfortable and spend a couple of days reading it.

This is my last chance to make any changes. I will see the manuscript one more time before it is published, but at that stage I'll be reading galley proofs and the only things I'm allowed to change are typos or glaring mistakes (like calling a character by the wrong name).
I thought those of you who are not writers might be interested to see some of the copyedits (if you click on the images they will enlarge). I write fairly clean copy, although since my focus is always on story and flow, I can miss some dumb mistakes (like writing Eden when I meant Eton!). I always appreciate my copyeditors because they save me enormous embarrassment. I worry when I catch a dozen things after a copyeditor has already gone through a manuscript because I know that means some things are inevitably slipping past us. It's impossible for me to ignore story for words, so I'm a lousy proofreader. And then of course the copyeditors always change things I want put back the way they were.
Also this week I received the first version of the cover. It needs some modification, and it will be a while before I have approval to show it, but I'm going to cheat and share this screenshot of part of it because it's so striking--and because it's always sooo exciting when a manuscript inches this much closer to being a real book:


10 comments:

Lynne said...

Oh, Candy - didn't we have this conversation about this time last year - about the merits of hand written corrections as opposed to the "bubbles"? It does make me smile as I'm of that age, like you, that remembers those chicken scratch notes in margins, etc. and had no problem with them. (Journalism class in high school and creative writing in college.) I didn't pursue writing after words so those funny bubbles seem odd. But then I would still be writing longhand instead of on the computer until I had a rough draft. Do you start in longhand? Just curious...

I love the new cover - does this mean our young man is now hatless and headless? Poor fellow :-{...

cs harris said...

Lynne, yes, I whine every year about this time--sometimes more than others, depending on the copyeditor. And I do write in longhand. At one point in the 90sI had switched to composing at the computer, but after Katrina when we were refugees for 11 months, I had to write by hand again and discovered I enjoyed it. It's also much easier on the back. As for the young man, he does have a hat this time. Unfortunately for some reason they also gave him a terrible 5 o'clock shadow which I said MUST go. I also found a modern light pole lurking in their that has to be photoshopped out . . .

Willa said...

Loving the red on the cover!

And the minute snippets of story in between the bubbles! Tis always interesting to see the process behind the scenes. Thanks for posting!

Lynne said...

What a relief - I thought they were going to behead the poor guy. I assume we're only seeing half of the cover. You may whine as much as you like - I think reading through each of those bubbles would be trying at best. Good luck!

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Charles Gramlich said...

I actually much prefer the track changes approach. Now, if I could just get my students to pay attention to the comments I make on their works that way.

cs harris said...

Willa, the red is striking, and the cover is rather nice in a lot of ways. I'm rarely completely satisfied!

Lynne, yes, it's just the bottom third or so of the cover. And thanks.

Charles, part of the problem is I hate sitting at my computer, even with my new, more comfortable chair.


paz said...

Pros and Cons of track changes... I could go on forever. Love hate relationship if there was ever one. But at least I no longer have what my husband called "feathered papers" overflowing with small post-it notes at the margins. And of course, like all feathers, those notes sometimes fell out. And it was always the really important ones that did...

JustWingingIt said...

Ugh, it would give me a headache to go through all those little dialogue boxes. I don't envy you that chore. But I'd treat myself to something I wouldn't ordinarily allow myself once I was done, that's for sure! :-)

Such a tease with that peek at the cover. I love the coloring already though and I can just picture Sebastian striding purposefully down the street. I can't wait to see the full cover.

Veronica

Susan/DC said...

I tell people I have the soul of a copy editor. I used to think I noticed things because I cared about them and other people didn't, but now I think in part it's because other people don't even see the things that jump off the page to me (e.g., misspelled words, too many/too few spaces, incorrect grammar or punctuation). Of course, it's something of a chicken-egg issue, as I probably care about them precisely because I see them, while it's hard to care about something you don't realize is there. Some of what I notice, however, is because I'm a dinosaur (my middle school English teachers have a lot to answer for). For example, I always use "who" whenever the reference is to a person, but a lot of younger people use "that" whether it's a person or a thing. In the long run probably doesn't make any difference, but it immediately pulls me out of the story.