I’m down to the last 130 pages or so of copy edits. I’m also in the stage that I suspect most writers find themselves at when they’re going over a manuscript for the zillionth time: there are moments when I think, God, this is really good!, and others when I think, Oh, God, what was I thinking, this is awful. I’ve just finished going over one of the most climactic scenes in the book, and I think it really works (so, apparently, did my agent, who said she almost stopped reading the book to send me a shocked email at this scene), and I know other scenes do, but … still, part of the brain goes “worst! thing! ever!” :)
I desperately wish I had time to go over the manuscript at least once more before sending it out, though. I’ll get it one last time for the galleys and will be able to make final changes then, but a couple more days would be really helpful at this stage (*looks guiltily at Dublin Comic Con, which would have been those couple days, had I not gone…*). Really, though, what’s frustrating is that 95% of the copy edits could have been avoided. Del Rey sends a style sheet with the copy edits, and it simply *didn’t occur to me* that they might not refer back to the QUEEN’S BASTARD style sheet when they did the PRETENDER’S CROWN edits. I’ve used British spellings in these books, deliberately (for flavour, as it were), and I explained that in response to the TQB copy edits, and they apparently went “oh okay” and let me have my spellings. I just kind of figured they’d have that on file for this book, but instead am STETting all the ‘honour’ and ‘colour’ and ‘travelled’ and ‘defence’ and ‘curtsey’s throughout the manuscript. (Possibly it is sufficient to correct them on the actual stylesheet, but I would really, really hate to find out it wasn’t by way of having to correct all that spelling in the galley.) Next time, assuming I get to write more books in the Inheritors’ Cycle, I will include the corrected style sheet for TPC when it goes to the copy editor, and explain about using British spelling for flavour. :)
In the meantime, however, my *utterly splendid* husband went out and bought me a British dictionary so I could check my spellings (which, btw, are all correct) without asking him to look up words for me on the computer. He bought me the Concise OED, in fact, and I’ve been practically petting it and cooing over it. (It also justified my use of semi-colons, which I was *sure* I was using correctly, and I am, by God. Despite the CE replacing a lot of them with commas. AND it justified my choice to often use hyphens in words that we would not typically hyphenate today: as recently as a century ago *lots* of compound words we don’t hyphenate now were still being hyphenated, so it is a stylistically correct choice. Can you tell I’m smug? Because I’m smug. :))
Arright, off to do the last section. *zoomz*
I read an article not too long ago that talked about how the hyphen was going away more and more each year. People seem to be afraid to use them, so they either break the word up into two words or just leave it out and jam it all together.
It made me a little sad.
I have always wanted an OED. I’m all jealous of you now. :)
Most word processors allow you to choose different resource files for spelling and grammar checks. Microsoft word has different “English” files for UK, Ireland and Australia (plus other countries). Look under the TOOLS / LANGUAGE / SET LANGUAGE tabs.