Copy Editing

The editor I’m hoping to use is giving a talk today about the top ten pet peeves of copy editors. She graciously emailed me a copy of her power point slides, which I promptly read and began to apply to my work. Hours later, I’m finished with…Chapter One.

It’s not that I had a horrendous number of mistakes; editing on this level is just tedious and difficult when it’s something I’ve written. Yet it’s worth it to look more professional.

I started reading a novella someone loaned me on booklending.com—The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan. It’s only the 3rd book of hers that I’ve read and I already consider her a favorite author.

I want to know how she does it.

There simply aren’t mistakes in her books, and the plot of Unveiled was the best romance I’ve read—I honestly didn’t know if the problem could be resolved (never experienced that in a romance before). I want to know what she does to elevate her fiction to such high level of writing…and how I can raise mine.

I’ve seen a lot of things about perfectionism lately, about not driving ourselves crazy striving for an impossible standard. After all, writing is a creative endeavor, and the standards are subjective. Yet there are things one can do to make the words sing.

I know I have a long way to go; I’m not satisfied with the way my novel reads. But I also don’t want to spend the next ten years trying to get it there. Shoot, by then it’d probably wind up a completely different novel. So, I’m reiterating my stance that I am doing the best I can, and I’ll leave it at that—even in the face of Courtney’s fantastic writing. 🙂

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