going to be here forever…

After an hour and a half of work, I’m on page 17 of 421 on the copy edits for HOUSE OF CARDS. Unfortunately, I’ve gotten the same copy editor I did last time, and she and I clearly have different writing styles. The unfortunate part is she’s corrected a great deal of material which is simply not to her liking, rather than being actively wrong or awkward. (There are things that are wrong or awkward, and I am looking at those seriously and, I think, without prejudice, although touches on the how dare you muck with my words! aspect of copy edits, and I’m absolutely willing to admit sometimes it’s just a case of that which needs to be dealt with.) I’m not usually one to bleed all over the pages or use STET eight times on a page, but in this case, oh yes, there is bleeding and STETting going on. I’m going to be here forever.

Yesterday I got a copy of ‘s new novel, BLOOD ENGINES, in the mail as a thank-you from his editor for having offered up a blurb for it. There was a note inside saying, “Kelly–thanks for all your support!”

I presume Kelly Armstrong, who also blurbed the book, got one that says, “Catie–thanks for all your support!” :)

This is particularly funny to me because in junior high and high school a girl named Kelly and I were forever mistaken for each other. We both had straight brown hair and glasses and otherwise looked *nothing* alike, but I became so accustomed to being called Kelly that even outside of school I would answer to the name, so getting something with a note to Kelly was just a bit of deja vu. *laughs*

18 thoughts on “going to be here forever…

  1. After you go through this with this copy editor, could you request another one from now on? Or perhaps if not, let the copy editor know that her style is different than yours, and if she wished to edit in her style she’ll need to write her own book?

  2. Well that’s teh suck.

    I’d probably do something mean like let her know that when I sent it back.

  3. A subsequent “I really mean it this time” might be good. A second request backed up by reference to the first and an estimate of how many times you had to STET (what’s STET)

  4. STET means “let it stand”, and is used to indicate material that’s been removed or changed in the editing process that you want to retain in its original form.

    I have no interaction with the copyeditor myself. It’s something that happens entirely on the production end, and the most I can do is request not to be assigned that person again. My editor has done this for me, and there’s not a lot else I /can/ do. It’s pretty clear to both my editor and myself that this particular CE is not a good fit for my writing, and so my editor and her assistant are pretty much expecting to get back a manuscript I’ve bled all over. It’s frustrating, but there’s not a lot I can do about it.

  5. I’m at the copyedit sitting on table glaring at me with two weeks left to do them stage.

    Next week. Yes.

    Have just finished book rewrite. And proofs of other book are due tomorrow (mailed those out last week).

    Yours from the La Brea of Pain.

  6. Dearest Kelly,

    All those other authors meant nothing to me.

    Love and kisses,


  7. My editor chopped out 25 pages worth of stuff!

    Mind you, my book did kind of go long. But better long than, er, short.

  8. My last pass of editing on one of the short stories in my current anthology seems like your interaction with this copy editor.

    The other stories went over quite well. But this author and I had very different ideas on what should stay. I wanted to nix some things he wrote.. he wanted to keep them as stylistic. I didn’t agree for the most part… but you never know.

    Sounds like this copyeditor wants to suck the life out of you… but may very well be a great fit for a different author. I wonder why publishers just can’t understand this.

  9. Aren’t you glad it was a very simple note there to Kelly? I can just imagine if the person tried to write something well say not intended for the public, and sent it along with the wrong book. :)

    My wife gets called a variety of different names… I’ve never seen the other people that look like her, but apparently others have and know the other person… I just wish that someday they come to give back the cash and prizes they borrowed from the other person. :)

  10. Yarg. That’s gotta be frustrating as hell.

    (Thanks for explaining STET, though–I wondered too.)

  11. Ha! Well, the thought was generous, I suppose. I’ll sign a copy to you properly, personally, if you like!

    Recently I sent off some spare ARCs of Blood Engines to a bunch of readers as part of a promotional giveaway… except I was inattentive when I copy-and-pasted their addresses, and wound up accidentally making several labels with the same person’s address. I never noticed, and blithely mailed them off, only to receive a good-natured if bewildered e-mail asking if I’d *meant* to send that particular person five copies. She kindly sent them on to the intended recipients for me. That’s a kind-hearted reader! Me, I probably would’ve just cackled and eBayed them…

  12. My wife is expected to give birth somewhere in the vicinity of Hallowe’en, so no WFC for me. I’d say “alas” or “unfortunately,” but in truth I’d rather become a father than go to a convention, if I had to choose. :)

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