Monday, July 7, 2014

Copy Edits OR I thought I was better at this

I was on a writing high. I just sold a three book series. Book one was done and off to the editor. The first draft of Book Two was done. Book three was in concept and I actually knew the story. I was convinced that nothing or no one would be able to interfere with my walk in the clouds.

Then - WHAM!! The copy edits came.

Among the Expletive Construction Issues, Implied Propositional Phrases, Directional Adverbs, Male Dialogue Corrections, Showing versus Telling and POV issues were the subtle words - YOU SUCK!!! At least that's how I felt.

Where did I go wrong? The 300 page manuscript I loving sent as a Word attachment to an editor who told me how much she loved the story, how the characters were so dimensional and how she couldn't wait to see the stories in print, had just sent me back an attachment from Track Changes Hell with an implied note saying "Your baby is ugly."

Aside - don't show her this blog. She'd probably make me break the above sentence into two simpler sentences which did not have the same impact.

Sigh. Now what?

Right brain – Get to work and fix the mess.
Left brain – My story, my beautiful story. (Dramatic pause). Woe is me.
Right brain – Guess it isn’t as beautiful as you thought.
Left brain – Of course it is. She just wants to ruin it.
Right brain – Or make it readable.
Left brain – It is readable. It’s a creative masterpiece
Right brain – Apparently not.
Left brain – What do you know about being creative?
Right brain – Maybe nothing, but I do know that if you don’t change it, the only people that are ever going to read it will be you and your mother.
 Left brain – Good point. Hey Righty, do you know how to use Track Changes?

Kathye Quick is a Right Brain Writer of 15 books who will be spending the next few weeks figuring out how to use Track Changes and sobbing in frustration as she polishes the first Book in her Three Book Series Bachelors Three. If you see her, do not approach. Simply throw her some chocolate and tell her to get back to work.


  1. Thanks Kathye, I think. I turned in my first in a series last week, and now you've prepared me for the worst to happen. Great post.

  2. Oh, Kathye, we've all been there and we're all out here in Cyberland, cheering you on. With a three-book contract in your pocket, you're way ahead of the game. Love this post, BTW, especially the right brain/left brain dialogue. I think I'll print it out and pin to my bulletin board as a reminder that I'm not alone.

    You go, Girl!

  3. We hang on to those manuscripts and edit over and over hoping to make it perfect. Goes to show it's never going to be perfect from someone else's POV:)
    At least you can look at the experience with good humor.

  4. Coffee, Kathye. Coffee and chocolate. :)

  5. I like Sofie's recommendation. Also, I generally love my editor a day or two after I receive my edits.

  6. Thanks all. I am currently recovering amid candy and wine. LOL

  7. Your sense of humor remains intact :-) That will go a long way to helping your right and left brains (both of which are considerable!) to getting a terrific story to masterpiece status. I'm eating a dark chocolate champagne truffle to help you get there.

  8. Kathye--
    I feel for you but I know you'll get it done and have a beautiful book and series completed. I dislike whoever invented Track Changes.

  9. Cris - I can always count on you to help make me feel better (as you pop that truffle)

    Victoria - If I ever found out who did invent Track Changes he or she is toast!!!

  10. Sandy -- I know I have a great support group in the Avaloners. Thanks!
    Kay - you'll probably fare better. I am a doofus at editing
    Jean - I'm still counting the days
    Zelda - We certainly do
    Sofie - I'm about to gain 300 pounds from the calories and never sleep from the caffeine.

    Thanks all - you guys rock!