On copyedits! And news!

So, it turns out that caring for a newborn takes a lot of time. Go figure.

First, some news! My novel has a new title. Sorta. Now it will be STORM: Book 1 of the Elemental series. You may already know that water is the featured element in the first book, and as it’s set in September in Annapolis, there’s a lot of rain.

Book 2 will be SPARK (fire!), and I believe book 3 will be SPIRIT (surprise!).

The title has not yet been updated on Goodreads yet, but it has been updated on Amazon, in case you wanted to *ahem* preorder. No pressure.

I just got my copyedits (copy edits? I need a copyeditor for this blog post) last week. In case you don’t know, the copyeditor is someone who checks all your grammar, punctuation, and spelling, in addition to continuity, chronology, fact checking, and a whole bunch of things I don’t even want to think about.

Basically, a copyeditor is a person completely made of awesome.

For example.

I have a spot where I mention that an Air elemental would be able to cause illness, because he or she would be able to manipulate airborne viruses or bacteria. I specifically reference the Black Plague.

Here’s the copyeditor’s comment:

Bubonic plague is not caused by an airborne pathogen.

First off, I didn’t even know that. Did you know that? Would it even occur to you? Do you know how many people have read this book? That went over all of their heads, too. And this is such a teeny tiny detail.

This is why my copyeditor is badass.

In addition to the detailed notes throughout my manuscript, I received a Copyediting Style Sheet. This is an eight page document (eight pages!!) listing my book’s chronology (i.e., “X happens on Monday, Y happens on Tuesday”). This was exceptionally helpful, because there were a few spots in the manuscript where I referred back to the incorrect day.

(Did I mention that my copy editor is badass?)

There’s also a section of special words I use, like PMS-ing, or ‘sup, for consistency. Here’s my favorite:

rawr-rawr-rawr (dog sound)
There’s also a list of every character I mention throughout the book. This includes random high school students whom I might just mention in passing. 

Here’s my favorite one of those:

Jakubowski, Rick (p. 284); deflowerer of Quinn Briscoe
As my buddy Alison said, the word “deflowerer” just doesn’t get enough use.  

Finally, as I go through the manuscript, there are numerous comments regarding whether music is too loud for a conversation, or whether it would be too dark for characters to actually see each other, or even spots where sloppy editing on my part has left a brief moment of confusion.  (i.e., “What happened to Becca’s shoes?”)

I cannot imagine the amount of time or effort that would go into something like this. 
I’m a detail oriented person, so this has been one of my favorite steps in the process. Right now I’m reading through the entire manuscript to make sure I’m not missing anything.
What about you guys? Would you enjoy the copyediting process, or would it make you nuts?

9 thoughts on “On copyedits! And news!

  1. The copyediting process would drive me nuts! My grammar is terrible and little facts tend to go over my head.

    I know the bubonic plague is spread by rats. The fleas on the rats jump onto humans and bite them, so rats are only vectors. The fleas are the ones who actually transfer the bacteria. Do you want a list of symptoms that I remember by memory? It’s HUGE.

    I’m a history junkie. 😛

  2. Ohmygoodness. I never realized jsut how detailed a copyeditor’s job is! All those lists’re WICKED awesome. Wow. And those one-word titles are amazing!

    PS: I totally knew the bubonic plague was carried by rats, too. JS. 😀

  3. That sounds so awesome! Copyeditors are super heroes. Timelines, characters, logical consistency, word use. I. so. want. one.

    I love the title storm. And I hear your book has an insane amount of hot boys. *seriously ponders who she’ll get with.* Chris or Hunter. They’re both delicious names. Can’t wait.

  4. Wow, sounds like it takes a special kind of person to become a copy editor. Glad you’ve found a good one.

    And Fiona, you heard correctly, Brigid’s books have an insane amount of hot boys. She knows how to write hot boy characters!

    BTW, Brigid, the Bubonic Plague was not spread by airborne pathogens, but by virus-ravaged zombies. Sheesh, I thought everyone knew that. 😛

  5. The English Teacher copy edits all the time, sweetie, all the time — only I call it “grading papers.” 🙂

    Did your copy editor tell you that the pneumonic plague was caused by an airborne virus, though? Perhaps that might fit into your story. (Yeah, I knew how the Bubonic plague was spread; I teach a lot of Shakespeare, and it was a current event of his time.)

    I really like the new titles– very catchy. I can’t wait to see the first cover. 🙂

  6. Fascinating glimpse into copyeditor comments. Badass, indeed! (Am betting a copy editor would make that two words – bad ass.) Love the new titles, and pre-ordered Storm. Woo hoo!

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