So. Copy Edits for Cold Welcome arrived Friday afternoon, and this morning I cleared off half the kitchen table and laid out my work space. Stack of unread pages. Place to put pages read. Dictionary. My Sekrit Decoder ring to details in the book. Removed Ego and put it in the fridge freezer (oh, come on. You don’t believe that, do you? Ego is still in my head, and I have my fist on its collar. If you can’t freeze your ego, you have to have it subdued in some way.)
Like many writers, I have a wary approach to copy editors. They do this for a living all day long, just like I make things up for a living all day long. They are apt to point out, for instance, that I am misusing “onto” (yes, I did.) I looked it up. In three different places, to be certain of that. I could argue that it was in dialogue, and my character was speaking as many of us do speak in that context at hand, but…no. Point to copy editor, good catch. On the other hand, that “the” stuck in here, and the “and” stuck in there? Style choice. STET. I try to minimize “the” usage, to use it only when I need the definite article. Some CEs are not so picky. (They’re picky, but they have different standards.)
I am, at this point, about 21.6% of the way through the copy edits. I read every word of every page with attention, because even a copy editor’s attention may flag and something may be missed. (Something was. I fixed it. Point to me.) My eyes hurt, my vision’s blurred a bit, and I’m going to bed now.
Oh yeah, NewBook? It’s skipping along dallying in the floral maze, but still accumulating plot points at a reasonable rate. It’s just over 37,000 words. It will be neglected until I get the copy edits done, except for a daily short walk in the park on a leash. It’s most alpha alpha reader (who saw a version several thousand words ago) says it has a slow spot but is otherwise doing well. Slow spots in a rough draft can be fixed later. One maintains forward momentum if one has a lick of sense.