The Things Editing Teaches You, version 274

I’ve got a new trilogy coming out soon*, which means I’ve been in the editing house of horror.

My friend Cassie and I used to have divergent views on editing, where her position was, “Editing makes the book better!” and my position was, “I’d rather sand my hands than edit.”

She is, as it happens, correct 🤣

My normal editing process involves a read-through, then a read-aloud. I’m looking to extend the read-aloud into the audiobook edition of the book, but the base minimum is to get the machine to read the manuscript for me. After this it gets farmed out to beta readers, then the editor.

Here’s what I’ve learned this time:

  1. No matter how often or well you use English, you will mix up easy shit like they’re and there. All. The Time. This isn’t because I don’t know the difference. I really do! I still have about a 10% error rate on stuff like this between brain and keyboard. Faulty wiring, most like.
  2. I’m a sucker for double words, like, “Bob walked to the cabin cabin.” No, I don’t know why I wrote cabin twice. Maybe the cabin was super important.
  3. Therefore and therefor are two different words. They sound the same! They are not the same.
  4. Speaking of shit sounding the same, seamed and seemed are also different. These are things a read-aloud won’t catch, because the machine is not going to do anything useful like drop heavy bass on the A in seamed.
  5. A friend sent me a comment on my use of the word foetid. He wondered if I spelled it that way because of ye olde worlde language in the book. I fell down a well here – I’m still not clear. I think foetid is the “correct” British English version, and fetid is a more popular American English version, but who tf knows. This is why I drink.

If this post amused you, consider hopping on my mailing list, where you’ll no doubt here hear more about my failings as a writer in the weeks to come.

* I’m working through the beta read process right now, and have an editor engaged to work on the manuscripts over the next ~3 months. We’ll have something more to talk about at the start of next year, when you’ll meet our new hero Evanne in the Copper Bard trilogy.


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