<a href=”https://globalwrite.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/michelle22.png”><img class=”size-medium wp-image-22 alignleft” alt=”” src=”https://globalwrite.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/michelle22.png?w=77″ height=”92″ /></a>
This week I have been copy-editing my book, which is the final step, for me, at least. Before I started this I had no idea of what copy-editing is, so for those of you, like me, who don’t know much about it, here is a quick explanation.
It is the final edit and is all to do with style and continuity and those tiny little mistakes no-one ever spots until the last minute. Someone – who must have the most amazing mind – goes through, and makes all kinds of notes.
They correct spelling and layout to the house style. They pick up on all kinds of continuity errors. They question any inconsistencies they find – for example, on page 1 you called his eyes blue and on page 20 they are grey-blue. Is this right?
They also highlight repeated words – such as dropping used twice on a page, for example. Which for me, who uses repetition as part of my style, can happen quite a lot.
They don’t change anything, they merely highlight these things and ask if you want to change it.
It’s very useful to have one final look at these things, but it is exhausting to go through all these tiny little checks – especially if you’ve moved onto writing another book, and you’ve forgotten all the details from the first book. I did find myself defending my style, or my choice of phrase, but it’s made clear that I don’t have to change things, it’s my choice.
And once that is done, it’s fixed. There may be one or two more notes, but now it’s all the publishers and it’s in the final stages.