Wish You Were Here: the copy edit…


So anyways, my copy edit* came back during the week and, as always, it looked scarier than it was.

My editor (Nicola from ebookedit) marks up the document in word, inserts comments here and there, and even occasionally makes me giggle with some of the remarks she pops in. My role is to review and accept (or reject) the grammatical and spelling changes, tighten any text that needs tightening, consider any comment that’s been made (and write the suggested alterations), and come up with alternatives to eyebrow raising. Man, my characters did a lot of eyebrow raising in this book!

Wish You Were Here has been a little more challenging to write than my previous two, in that Max, my heroine, is English, and most of the story is set in England. To get into her character and write in her voice, I had to write in more of an English voice.

Some things were no-brainers: courgettes instead of zucchinis, supper instead of dinner, football instead of soccer, flip-flops instead of thongs (although my hero, Richie, is a Kiwi and he wears jandals…just saying). Max also drinks more tea than coffee. Others weren’t. As an example, people tend to talk about going up to London, but is that strictly correct when the Cotswolds are north-west of there? Nicola also asked whether Labrador puppies appear in tissue commercials in the UK- as they do here. I’m pleased to confirm that the appeal of Labrador puppies in tissue commercials seems to be universal.

I used doona instead of duvet, paddock instead of field, and undies instead of boxer shorts (for that last one I browsed the men’s underwear section of the H&M UK catalogue…and the Marks & Spencer catalogue too…just to be sure…). Another time when Max wondered whether Brad (remember him from Big Girls Don’t Cry?) was game enough to make a particular comment. Nicola reminded me that this was also something an Aussie would say. In case you’re interested, Max wondered instead whether Brad was brave enough…

When Richie thrust his hands into his pockets, strode out of the room and shut the door more quietly than he probably would have been warranted to, Nicola wondered how he managed to do so with his hands still in his pockets. Yep, never under-estimate the value of a good edit.

Other than lots of grammatical stuff to correct (my attention to detail is seriously bad) and comments like those above, there have been minimal changes I’ve needed to make- perhaps some extra strengthening of a couple of closing paragraphs. As far as copy edits go, this one has (so far) been relatively straight-forward. My biggest challenge has been to come up with alternatives to that eyebrow raising my characters do- and they all do it! If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them…

What’s next?

I need to finish the copy edit, complete the proof-read (probably twice), play around some more with the blurb, and write my acknowledgements. Then it will be time to send it all away to have the file converted for kindle, ibooks, kobo and print.

We’re nearly there…

*If you want to know what to expect from a copy edit, check out this post



5 Replies to “Wish You Were Here: the copy edit…”

  1. So many things to think of.

    I think I’d get a bit freaked out seeing a lot of red marks (or similar) on my text but suspect it’s a necessary evil and having to ensure the Englishness is a good point!

  2. It’s scary when you first see it, but my attention to detail sucks- and my editor is exactly the opposite! Perfect combo.

  3. I get excited when my copy arrives back from the editor. But I do look at it with one eye open and one eye closed to begin with because it’s kind of scary. Like getting an exam paper back.
    How exciting that your next book is almost ready!

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