Thursday, January 26, 2006

"This chick sucks"

I came across the following on Sylvia's blog yesterday and laughed myself silly, because it's so similar to my own thoughts while editing:

I’m going to make errors. That’s a given. But still, I hate that I make them. If a gown or eye color changes when it’s not supposed to, I mentally kick myself. How the hell did I do that? If I overuse something and it’s pointed out to me with a little, “Can we maybe have something else here?” ...Why didn’t I catch that? And part of me wonders if the copy editor is sitting there saying to themselves, “Man, this chick sucks. Why the hell are they buying her books?” and that thought bothers me.

I've had some very similar thoughts lately. Going through the edits on The Shadows of Night, I've come across a couple of places where the editor pointed out I'd used the exact same phrase three times in two paragraphs. Geez, I've written twelve or thirteen books-- haven't I yet learned to self-edit so I'm not using repetitive language? Apparently not.

Of course, intellectually I know everyone misses something from time to time. Editors view our work with fresh eyes in a way that the writer, who's spent weeks or months on a manuscript, can't. But just like Sylvia, I have this vision of my editor shaking her head ruefully and thinking, "Man, this chick sucks..."

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to tell you something funny...I totally did think that. lmao, no really, I didn't think that at all and that's not what I wanted to tell you.

    There's another editor who I love having do FLEs on my books, because not only does she have a similar style to mine, but she also sees things I don't, and vice versa.

    And every time I get a book back from her and she's made suggestions and corrections on things I've missed. I cringe and wonder if, while she's doing the final line edits, she's sitting and thinking to herself "Man, this chick sucks..." See, editors are people too and we know that everyone makes mistakes and misses things--even us!