Friday, September 7, 2012

Imaginary Conversations with my Copyeditor

CE: "Is there a reason you refer to him as Lord Thomas when his name is Stephen?" (this one isn't actually imaginary--it was written in a comment)

Me: "Yes, there is a reason. The reason is I was drunk. Oh wait--I don't drink. So no, there's no reason. Except inattention. And too many men in the Howard family named Thomas. Is it my fault they had no imagination when it came to naming their sons?"

CE: There's no extra 'e' in acknowledgment.

Me: You may have all the e's you like.

CE: Also, no 'u' in humor. Or armor. Or color.

Me: There is in Britain. You may not have my u's. They're the closest I get to pretending I'm British. STET.

CE: (another written comment) "Twice you've referred to her eyes as hazel. Why green-gold here?"

Me: Because green gold is hazel. At least, that's the color of my eyes. To appease you, I will write "the familiar green-gold swirls of her hazel eyes" rather than simply "the familiar green-gold of her eyes".

CE: Comma, delete comma, comma, dash, delete hyphen, delete space, delete comma, colon.

Me: Fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, only over my dead body will you remove that particular comma--it is full of meaning and pathos and all the emotion of the ages contained in that one slight pause, fine.

This is not to say that I dislike my copyeditor. Actually, I adore her. (I'm pretty sure it's a her--that could be embarrassing.) Copyedits are fun. Way more fun than, say, revising the whole book two which I am also (cough, cough,) working on this month. Because of her edits, I just wrote out my own substitution cipher using keywords from Petrarch's sonnets in Italian so I could make Dominic's deciphering of encrypted messages more realistic. How is that not the coolest job in the world?

Also, my copyeditor is devoted to the Oxford comma.

For that alone, I consider myself her devoted slave for life.

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