Posted by Lorraine (L.L.) Bartlett

All summer long I waited to receive the copyedits on my upcoming books. One has a longer lead-time, so I figured that one would come sometime this fall. Well, it didn't. It came first!

That's okay, I had plenty (two weeks) of time to complete it ... until the other one arrived. And that one only had a one-week turnaround deadline.


Comparing the edits has been an eye-opening experience. What one publishers wants, the other doesn't. One spells doorframe as one word; the other spells it as two words. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

I figured I'd have both of them done yesterday. Nope. Got sidetracked. So the first one is due tomorrow. It's essentially done, I just want someone else to read the letter I wrote to the copyeditor. She reworked some sentences that change their meaning. NO! STET! The other will probably go out Thursday (I would prefer it go tomorrow, but I've got a BIG talk tomorrow morning, so if I get it packaged up, it's still more likely it'll go out (overnight) on Thursday). It's due Friday.

I gave myself the weekend off from the copyedits to work on the current manuscript, and reread it with a different mindset. Oh! The copyeditor won't like this. Oh, they want me NOT to hyphenate that, and they want me to lowercase this. And don't forget to spell that out--don't abbreviate! My "style" doesn't mesh with theirs. But the editor who changed my words, allowed me (for the most part) to keep my "style." Is it because that book is written in first person and the other is written in third?

Who knows.

I'm glad that there weren't extensive changes on either manuscript, and that I have an opportunity to fine-tune a couple of murky areas. (Sometimes it only takes one word to provide that kind of clarity.) And I caught a whole line that had been deleted!!! (Whew! They don't like you finding that at galley time.)

I've heard about copyedits from hell. Right now, I'm counting myself lucky that despite the short time lines for both, and them both arriving at the same time, it hasn't been too bad an experience.

I hope that will always be my experience.

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