Chronicles of Ghadid Trilogy, Draft Zero, Pre-pub, Unnamed (Book 3), Writing

From the Debut Trenches: The Copy Edits Are Among Us

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Things that I have been unduly excited about since I discovered they were a Thing:
– Flannel sheets
– Bat boxes that have the Batman logo
– Copy edits

One of the things I’ve realized I’m good at over the years has been picky details. Since learning the exact nature of copy editing, I’ve been more than a little eager to see them in the inky flesh. Going through a novel line by line, hunting out spelling and grammatical errors, as well as continuity errors, sounds like my kind of party.

But ohmygoodness, was I not prepared for the style sheet.

See, in order to catch those continuity errors, a copy editor must first figure out what the continuity is. Which for any book can be a load of biscuits and fun, but for fantasy novels gets even trickier. All those made up terms and systems – aka worldbuilding – become Real. And the copy editor must not only understand those terms, but make sure they’re used consistently within the established rules of the world.

So they make a style sheet. And in it, they list all of the characters, major or minor or sub-minor, and their relationships to the other characters. They also list all the bizarre terms you made up. They also create a timeline. It’s meticulous and it’s picky and it’s beautiful.

If this whole writing thing doesn’t work out, I think I’ll try my hand at copy-editing. Just saying.

If it’s weird to see all your made-up people and terms treated like Real, it’s even weirder to see the copy edit document itself. I knew it’d be marked up. What I didn’t realize was that it’d be formatted to look like a book. Guys. This is getting legit.

I did a first pass of the copy edits already, and it doesn’t look nearly as frightening or intimidating as I’d feared/expected. I’ll take my time going over each change, but so far it breaks down to:

– 94% changing an en dash to an em dash
– 2.7% saving my bacon by catching continuity errors
– 1.2% fixing typos/homophones
– 2.1% highlighting echoes*

Bless you, Copy Editor. And bless all copy editors everywhere, because it takes a very keen and practiced eye to catch this stuff.

Progress will slow a little on book 3 while I go through my copy edits, but I planned for that and also one of these is due MUCH sooner than the other, so.

Here’s current progress on Book Three, working title The Unconquered City, the story of an assassin turned monster hunter who’s really sick of people threatening her city. Now with more! terse conversations, monster hunters, and quiet cups of tea.

Project: Book Three, Draft 0.5

Deadline: August

Current word count: 24558 / 80000 words. 31%

Fancy bracelets: 2

Awkward conversations: 4

Broken glass: All of it

Chronicles of Ghadid Trilogy, Draft Zero, Unnamed (Book 3), Writing

Spring-inning

The forecast predicts we’re gonna get 40s from here on until March, the trees are budding, the bulbs are bulbening, and the river has claimed most of the nearby park and golf course – which means we can officially call it. Winter is fading. It’s Spring-inning.

I can’t lie. I’m going to miss the snow and the painfully cold 10 degree days. But time keeps churning and soon we’ll be eyeballs-deep in bugs and humidity, so it’s best to enjoy each day as it comes.

That’s my mantra in general lately. 2019 stills seems painfully far off, but I will only get to live through the pre-pub debut process once, so I’m gonna enjoy it. So far it’s been pretty calm and chill, with just the occasional inkling of the excitement (and terror!) that is to come and the occasional context-free flailing. I appreciate the slower-than-usual ramp up, because I’ve been able to stick my toe in and begin mentally (and physically) preparing for the Actual Thing because wow, if the last month has been any indication with its softballs, I am Not Prepared.

Wow, how is that for vaguebooking/subtweeting/whatever it is the kids are calling it these days?

 

Here’s current progress on Book Three, working title The Unconquered City, the story of an assassin turned monster hunter who’s really sick of people threatening her city. Now with more! rioting, Shocking Revelations (TM), and one-on-one rooftop “lessons.”

Project: Book Three, Draft 0.5

Deadline: August

Current word count: 17,723 out of 80,000

Knives thrown: 7

Double-entendres made: 3

Times that I have made myself blush: 11

Unnamed (Book 3), Writing

Book 3, Draft 0.5

I started Book Three back in July and got a sizeable chunk done (50k words! woo!), but then edits for 1 & 2 intervened and months passed and now here I am again. Staring into the abyss.

I’ve spent the last two weeks grappling with this book, the plot I have, the words I’ve written. I started and stopped and started again where I’d left off. But I finally realized I needed to just go ahead and start from the very beginning (it’s a very good place to start [now it’s stuck in your head too {you’re welcome}]).

Since I didn’t even reach a Rocks Fall Everyone Dies ending with that draft, I don’t officially get to move on to draft one. But it’s not really a draft zero, since I’ve got a pretty solid handle on what’s gonna happen. So let’s compromise and call it Draft 0.5. Still nowhere close to the finished product, but also not flailing alone in the dark with a blindfold and a basket of chips.

You know the drill by now. I’ll report back here once a week (or month) with progress updates as a way to shame myself into maintaining said progress. ‘Cause I’ve got a deadline to make and a story to wrap up and a whole lot of teeth to gnash. My teeth? Maybe yours. Whose teeth are these anyway? Why am I holding teeth??

 

Here’s current progress on Book Three, working title The Unconquered City, the story of an assassin turned monster hunter who’s gonna keep her city safe no matter the cost. Now with more! monster fights, healing magic, and tragic backstory.

Project: Book Three, Draft 0.5

Deadline: August

Current word count: 1,974 out of 80,000

Body count: 0

Monster count: Baker’s dozen

Sand?: Everywhere.