Monday, January 11, 2010

Bye Bye Typos

DSCF1005 Last week, I finished reviewing the galleys for DIAMONDS FOR THE DEAD (eighty days before release, if you're keeping track. Not that I am, or anything).

Thank goodness for my copyeditor extraordinaire, Connie (THANKS, CONNIE!).

She saved my bacon many times finding mistakes, correcting inconsistencies, and clarifying confusing passages. Without her eagle eyes poring over my manuscript, some gaffes would have found their way into print (And that’s no good; I want my book to be as gaffe-free as possible!).

Proofing the pages was a painstaking chore. My wife read the pages aloud as I followed along on the hardcopy wielding a red pen (THANKS, WIFE!). We found a few more things that might need fixing--a missing comma here, an extra one there, a misused word over yonder. Luckily, there were no major plot holes or embarrassing timeline errors (of course, I was supposed to get rid of them during the revision process, but you never know...). All in all, I thought it was pretty darn clean.

Well, except for the twenty-five times I wrote "couple of" when simply "couple" would have sufficed (as in "couple of times" or "couple of beers" or "couple of rhinoceroses mating under the baobab tree").

I'll do better next time, Connie. I promise!



Anonymous said...

Alan - Congratulations on getting so close to your release date!! I can't wait to get my eager, grubby paws on my copy of the book! I know what you mean about copy editing, too. Every time I think about the little things that still "snuck through" in my books, I cringe. You are lucky to have a wonderful copy editor!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

It's getting exciting now! So close...

I was fond of having my characters wear one outfit on one page and another outfit on the next. I guess Connie could tell that I pick up and put down my ms a million times when writing. Mistakes galore!

Mystery Writing is Murder
Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

Jenna said...

Honey, "a couple of rhinoceroses mating under the baobab tree" is absolutely correct, and I don't know why Connie would have a problem with it. That said, my agent flagged one of my couple ofs in my most recent manuscript, too. Things are changing every day.

Glad you got through the proofs without losing your sanity, and boy, Alan, you've got your wife trained well, if she'll read your manuscript through with you to make sure it's all right. I can't even get my husband to read my books!

Elspeth Futcher said...

That's what's missing from my WIP! Rhinoceroses! I can see this thing heading off in a whole new direction...

Seriously, what an exciting time this must be for you. Thank your stars for a thorough copy editor.


Stephen Parrish said...

I've always said "couple of." And I will do so at least a couple of more times. And I'll keep putting prepositions at the end of sentences, just to show those pesky copy editors what I'm made of!

Mating rhinoceroses? I can't wait to read your book.

Alan Orloff said...

Margot - Thanks. It's getting closer every day. Yes, I am thankful for my wonderful copy editor!

Elizabeth - Hey, there's an idea for a series. Quick-change artists solve murders!

Jennie - To be clear, I wanted those "couple of"s gone. And who said anything about me retaining my sanity? Another clarification: my wife trains me. I think my comment was, "Eh, it's probably all fine. We don't need to go over it." She's a stern taskmaster! Thanks for stopping by the blog.

Elspeth - Don't you mean "herding" off in a whole new direction?

My stars have been thanked, profusely.

Stephen - Well, not actual rhinos. More like metaphorical ones.

BTW, I've overheard the copyeditors talking about you. Trouble!

Galen Kindley--Author said...

"Couple of" is, a couple of things I can think of: Abbott and Costello, Mick and Mack, gin and tonic, Green Bay and Packers, (Hi, Packers.) They just go together. I love you, Connie, but hands off, Couple of.

Best Regards, Galen.
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Terry Odell said...

How exciting! Congrats. I found I'd called a character Blackstone instead of Blackthorne the first time I mentioned him. And it went through 4 rounds of edits -- didn't spot it until I got the ARCs.

Alan Orloff said...

Galen - The "couple of" thing is entirely my preference. Connie left it alone (and you leave Connie alone! She's awesome.). It was me, me, me who would like it changed. As for the Pack, it's tough when you score 45 points and lose.

Terry - Thanks! I know what you mean. I've been revising my stuff (many drafts in) and found the same character with different names. Confusing!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I hate to tell you this, Alan, but when you finally hold that published book in your hands, and then sit down to read it one more time, you'll still find something you wish you could change or "fix." It's the nature of the beast.

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JournoMich said...

I'll read any book that talks about a "couple of rhinocereses." You've got me.


Unknown said...

Hi Alan! I've missed your blog so much, since I started blogging on the days you don't! So I decide to stop here first thing this morning and read your Monday post - and what a great post it is! It's so wonderful to see someone thank and commend their copyeditor (and WIFE)! LOL! Good for you...for having a good one, and for acknowledging her!

Alan Orloff said...

Patricia - I totally believe you. That's why I'm not going to read it, once it's published. I'm kinda sick of it anyway :)

Virgilio - I'm not sure I follow you, exactly.

Michele - Wow. I didn't know there would be so much rhino love (I guess I need to go back and actually put some rhinos in!!)

Crystal - Good copyreaders are worth their weight in DIAMONDS (see how I worked that plug in?). So are good wives!!!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

For me the biggest problem in going through the galleys is resisting the urge to make unnecessary changes. Reading it through with someone else, is probably a good method for countering that impulse.