June 10, 2004

Learning Curve

Being copy edited is a humbling experience.

In front of the copy edited version of gods in Alabama that I am OKAYing and STETing is a list of every character who appears in the book. The copy editor makes a list of all character names, place names and made-up words so that she can check them for consistency, so she will notice if Jean becomes Jane at one point, see?

I look at this list of characters in the book I wrote a year ago, and I think, who the heck is CINDA? Who is DAWNA? Who is GRETA??? All these people are IN THE BOOK. Perhaps they are waitresses. Or pets. I have NO memory of them and all of them sound like C-cup blondes. I OUGHT to remember them. WHO IS DAVEY BUD FREEMAN??? Wasn't he on LETTERMAN? Well, he is in the book. He first appears on page 211. Oh RIGHT, he is a BABY.

Made-up words that appear in the book include Candy-asses, lookit, nutburger, and unfornicate.

I overuse the word little to an OBSCENE degree. She has taken out about 50 thousand uses of it. I will use the word 5 times a page without blinking. Apparently, I REALLY LIKE THE WORD LITTLE. I also like JUST and EVEN, but NOT half as much as that PRINCE among words, LITTLE.

Also she notices repetitions of words that are close to each other. For example, I ACTUALLY WROTE THIS SENTENCE AND SAW NOTHING WRONG WITH IT FOR 50 THOUSAND REVISIONS:
"The bottoms of his high-tops almost brushed the top of the highest heap."

All in one sentence we have bottom, high, top, top, and high? OKAY! I revised it though! It is now much better and more "Me-ish.". It now reads:

"The little bottoms of his little high-tops littley touched the little top of the littlest high little heap little little little."

11 more chaptters to go! *STET STET STET*

Posted by joshilyn at June 10, 2004 8:08 AM

Is it a story about small, tiny people and their diminutive dogs? 'Cause then I understand the littles.
I've recently discovered that I have an unnatural affection for the word "snuck," which is wrong, wrong wrong.

Posted by: Kira at June 10, 2004 11:22 AM

It is APPARENTLY a story about LILLIPUTIANS because EVERYTHING is little little little. Even a digital clock at the Courtyard by Marriot can not escape being diminunized. <--TRUE WORD, means "injected with adjectives that indicate smallness because there is apparently a LITTLE epidemic"

Joshilyn, Still Hip Deep in the copy edits, DONE with removing LITTLES, now RUTHLESSLY hacking out adverbs

Posted by: Joshilyn at June 10, 2004 1:45 PM

Do you think Homer had to do all that editing to roll the Illiad out the door and onto the scroll shelves?

Posted by: Judi at June 11, 2004 2:31 PM

Judi -- No. But all of his translators have.

Kira -- Your copy editor will relentlessly switch all the snucks to sneaked. EVEN IN DIALOGUE. EVEN WHEN SAID BY A REDNECK HICK WITH A WEED IN HIS TEETH. You have to go sneak STETS beside the snucks.


Posted by: Joshilyn at June 12, 2004 6:31 AM