Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More Milestones

I know many of you are interested in the actual process of preparing a book for publication. You'll recall that I did edits in September. Those were strictly from my brilliant editor, Erica. Once those were finished, she dropped Para off for copy edits. Last Friday I got a big, fat package in the mail that was my manuscript, complete with copy edits and a few last line edits Erica had added.

Right now I'm going through and checking each of the copy edits. Most of them are great (apparently I have a love affair with "of" that my copy editors don't share...every time I see another one they've taken out I cringe in embarrassment), but there have been a few things that I don't agree with. And here's the really scary part for me...

I "stet" them. Which means, after the copy editor's hard, hard work, I go to the margins and saying, sorry, I don't agree with this change. And the weirdest part?

I can.

It feels weird to me still, and I honestly feel guilty overriding their changes, but I haven't had to quibble over much. Copy editors? Seriously amazing. And the whole process is so fun and wonderful I'm having a blast.

Of course, I might need to take a break as soon as I finish going over the changes. Last night I had a dream that Barbie was coming out with a new Stay at Home Mom Barbie (TM)* and that my publisher asked me to write a nonfiction book about being a mom (using the Barbie as a metaphor throughout)--for teens. They even had the cover all planned out: a banana. I don't even want to go into what that image might have meant in my subconscious.

In fact, I'm still not sure what any of it meant. All I know is that I agreed and had a killer opening already planned. So, Erica, if you guys need that book? Give me a call. In the meantime, I've got more edits to look over.

*I thought of it first, Mattel.

24 comments:

storyqueen said...

Okay, that whole Barbie/banana thing cracked me up!!

Um...maybe you need to get some more sleep....

Happy Thanksgiving!

Shelley

Natalie Whipple said...

I'm glad the copy editors could find stuff to mark! It would have felt small indeed if it came back perfect:P

Marsha Sigman said...

I have to agree with Natalie. If they came back with nothing to correct...I would suspect you are a writing cyborg.

I might read that book about a stay at home mom writing for teens...but only if the cover were a banana. 'Cause that's crazy enough to work.lol

sraasch said...

I'd be the first to buy that Barbie. Provided she comes with an apron and always smells like fresh baked cookies. Or would it be more accurate for her to come with unbrushed hair, stained t-shirts, and bags under her eyes?

Renee Collins said...

Kiersten, I think you found your true writerly calling. That Barbie Mom book with the banana cover. Listen to your dreams, Kierst. Write it. Write it.

Stephanie Perkins said...

"Of"?

Really? Oh my. I wonder what unexpected word they'll mark in mine.

Also, your subconscious is probably just a huge Velvet Underground/Andy Warhol fan.

Kristi Faith said...

LOL Okay-no one else has said it...

I hear that writing your dreams can lead to major fame.....

:0) Okay, sorry Mrs. Meyers-it's only jealousy, I swear.

Really though-sounds like a fabulously hilarious book that may make some teens re-think how cute and adorable those babies are....

Ash. Elizabeth said...

congrats. i'll definitely be picking up your book when it comes out :)

Mariah Irvin said...

I find that my first draft is littered with the word "just". I deplore this word, so I'm not really sure how it found it's way in.

Susan Quinn said...

As a stay-at-home mom, I find that dream oddly disturbing!

But hooray for copy edits! Just one step closer . . .

Valerie said...

Ack! The banana (well two hands holding a banana) is the cover image I'm using for my YA paranormal romance (zombies are the new vampire!) DUSK (or SUNSET not sure yet).

Anywho, how awesome that you have a real live copy edited manuscript! It must feel so official.

I'm confused on just what copy edits are though? I guess I thought they were for, like, spelling and grammar, but if they're telling you take out "of" isn't that like line editing? Telling you how to say something? Or am I just totally lost?

Larissa said...

You just have all kinds of exciting going on! I had to laugh about the banana. I woke up from a very vivid book dream, too, only I rolled over and went back to sleep and now I can't remember it. *sigh*

lora96 said...

Banana? Oh, my. Your REM sleep is messing with you!

Congrats on the copy editing. And it has to feel cool that you can stand up for the integrity of a line in your book even if it features the dreaded "of". :)

Kiersten White said...

Sara--Option two, definitely. Plus some extra padding on her tummy and bum, because let's face it, she's had two kids. She's not a Barbie anymore.

Mariah--I have a "just" problem as well. I thought I took out SO MANY, but they still found more to take out...sigh. It's just so hard!

Valerie--Copy edits, while they do focus on grammar and punctuation, also include very specific line edits, when they think a word is inaccurate or awkward, etc. They also check for factual inaccuracies or inconsistencies. Essentially, copy editors are AWESOME. Thank you, copy editors, for making certain I never look dumb...

Everyone else, I promise you will each get a copy of my Stay at Home Barbie book when it comes out. : )

Tara McClendon said...

It's always amazing to see what a copy editor can find. I'm glad the book is moving that much closer to the final edition. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Liam said...

Oh, Kiersten. Good thing you live in CA instead of West Virginia...Barbies are banned there!

Jessie Oliveros said...

I love SAHM Barbie. Does she have wide hips because she eats dinner as she cooks and a slightly pudgy middle from having too many babies?

Kiersten White said...

Absofreakinglutely, Jessie.

Liam said...

I think SAHM Barbie should also have slightly-extremely unkempt hair because her kids keep her up at all times. And she gets so wet giving the kids their bath tht she doesn't even need to shower. Does the set include Stay at Home Ken, or is he separate?

Kristan said...

LOL to the dream. Oh goodness, that's how you know you're stressed.

Oh hey, your Wolfson peeps were in on the #YALitChat announcements tonight! (I just put two and two together that they're YOUR Wolfson peeps. ;P)

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for your blog -- for giving us aspiring writers an inside look at things like copy edits and NYC visits and such -- because you're really fun and inspiring. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Kiersten White said...

And Kristan, I noticed YOU won something? Details?

Liam, no, if Ken were at home, too, SAH Barbie wouldn't be nearly so stressed.

Aspiring Nurse and Writer said...

I read on your website that you sometimes get so absorbed with your writing that you forget to do stuff with your kids or clean. I am currently in that stage. I got the writing bug over a year ago and am feeling incredibly neglectful; how do you deal with those feelings? It is really hard, being a relatively new mom, to just take time for yourself and not feel intensely guilty about it.

Terresa said...

Yahoo for milestones!

{I'm taking notes as a writer not-as-yet-signed-with-a-fab-agent and grateful for all your insight!! Thanks!}
--xo

Daisy Whitney said...

I think all novels should have That-etcomies...