Sunday, February 04, 2007

On Edits and the Language Barrier

What I'm reading: Dust, by Martha Grimes

What I'm writing: Chapter 25

Yesterday morning I found the Final Line Edits for What's in a Name? waiting in my in-box when I checked my email at 7:15 a.m. The editor requested that I do everything within my power to get them back to her same day. Of course, this was the day I had to be doing a tutor training workshop for the Adult Literacy League, so nothing could happen until I got home, which was about 2:30 p.m.

After fixing the comments left by the FLE editor, I felt compelled to give the manuscript one more look, especially when I found a missing word in a paragraph above one of the comments. How many more might there be--those little typos and glitches that seem to appear when you shut down the computer. My husband, bless him, took care of the majority of dinner prep and let me keep working. By 10:30 p.m., I'd done all I could and sent them off to Australia for my editor's approval.

I discovered a style convention I was unaware of when it comes to breaking a single line of dialogue with a beat. Normally I'd use dashes, but the publisher prefers nothing at all.

My editor and I are also having a friendly discussion about the use of "all of a sudden." She says there's no such thing as half of a sudden, and therefore, all of a sudden makes no sense. She's the editor, so she killed them. I believe she left two instances of the expression in the other novel that's just going into the FLE queue. We'll have to see if the FLE editor allows them to slide by.

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