I just finished looking over the copyedits for SOMEONE LIKE YOU. As I’d heard, there weren’t many major edits, just tons of nit-picking by the copyeditor, who was very thorough. Which is a good thing, but also frustrating. I’m very picky when it comes to changing dialogue, and our copyeditor kept changing sentence structure within dialogue, making our characters sound like English professors. I hate that. People don’t always speak grammatically correct. Hell, a lot of us don’t even write that way.

Now I feel like I accomplished something today. And I didn’t even have to leave the house.

About timothyjlambert

Timothy J. Lambert is allegedly a writer.
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42 Responses to ta-dah

  1. I only want want only the best for our book.

  2. varsitynj says:

    Almost nobody talks that way (except English professors and my sister). I had a friend in high school who would actually correct your English in the course of a conversation. Inexplicably, she was not popular.

    To me, creating a unique speech style – complete with mistakes – for each character and then trying to keep it consistent is half the fun of writing dialogue.

    When is Ethan Mordden going to write more fiction?

    • mmmmmm, Ethan Mordden. Did I hear a rumor about that? I know Joe Keenan has something new coming out later this year, ’cause Tim told me.

    • “When is Ethan Mordden going to write more fiction?”

      I wish I knew. For all I know, he could be writing fiction under a pseudonym. I love his stories, though, and wish he’d write more.

  3. _jandy_ says:

    that’s odd.

    seems to me they’d want the character to have his/how own ‘sound’, but i guess that’s obviously not the case.

    • Actually, they usually don’t change much. This particular copy editor just hates the way our characters use “only” in a sentence. But it’s how people talk.

      • rhondarubin says:

        Actually, they usually don’t change much. This particular copy editor just hates the way our characters use “only” in a sentence. But it’s how people talk.

        OK, so invent a short-lived character. He’ll walk up to your group of characters in a coffee shop. He’ll say, “I couldn’t help but hear your your entire conversation. I don’t have answers for you, but I do have a suggestion. Learn to use ‘only’ correctly, and you’ll all sound much more intelligent.” As he steps away, one character says, “I want only for him to be hit by a bus” The short-lived character leaves the coffee shop, attempts to cross the street, and is hit by a speeding bus. The group of friends looks at each other, stunned. One pipes up and says, “Correct grammar is spooky. Screw that.” Suddenly you have a rational explanation for your dialog AND for why I don’t write fiction for a living.

    • It depends on the copyeditor, I suppose. Some read really closely, and won’t try to change dialogue if it adds a certain quality to the character. Most are extremely anal-retentive, though, and don’t take that into consideration. That’s why authors should always look over their manuscripts very carefully throughout the editing process.

      or so I’ve been told.

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