The rock n’ roll editing lifestyle

I haven’t updated much recently. That’s mainly because I’ve been busy. Partly because I was DJing on Hallowe’en night and my band’s had two gigs since then, but also because I’ve been EDITING.

In fact, I’ve been editing both DARK RUN and its sequel in close succession, which has at times left my brain trying to remember what’s actually happening to whom and when. But anyway, I thought I’d quickly outline what this all involves, as it’s the first time I’ve been through it and anyone who hasn’t may be vaguely intrigued.

So, I wrote the first draft of what we shall call for the moment DARK SEQUEL, since the title is top secret and hush-hush, need-to-know-only, and not at all because it hasn’t actually been finalised yet (we decided that I shouldn’t use the one I wanted to use because there were other things already called that, so now it’s back to the drawing board). I sent this off to my agent, Rob, who looked it over and sent it back to me. So now I’m in the process of going through it in line with his feedback and amending it as appropriate in what is my first real edit.

Then I’ll send it to Michael, my editor at Del Rey, who will look over it and give me HIS feedback, and then I’ll edit it again in line with that, in the second big edit. That was done with DARK RUN earlier this year, and now I’ve just finished the next stage in the editing process with it: copy edits.

Once I’d essentially finalised DARK RUN, Del Rey sent it to a copy editor who went through the manuscript picking up all the spelling and punctuation errors (even someone as anal as me made a fair few), but also checking other stuff in great detail. For example, I’d arbitrarily named the make of rifle carried by Tamara Rourke (one of the two nominally main characters) as a Saracen 920. That was simply a name I plucked out of the air which sounded right. However, the copy editor checked that and found out that actually it’s a make of lock. Is that likely to cause many problems? No, not really. Still, in order to avoid breaking the suspension of disbelief for a locksmith, I changed it to a Crusader 920 instead. The copy editor doesn’t insist on these changes, of course, they just highlight things for your attention and then you, the author, can accept the proposed changes or make further edits in line with their suggestions, or leave it as you see fit.

I’ve now sent back DARK RUN, complete with edits and changes in line (or otherwise) with the copy editor’s suggestions, back to Del Rey. Then I believe I get to check over the page proofs, which is where I see physical pages and how the novel’s actually going to look on the page. And after that it goes to print.

*excited flailing*

2 thoughts on “The rock n’ roll editing lifestyle

    1. Nothing particularly spectacular, if I’m honest – ‘Dark Skies’, which was not only a sci-fi show in the 90s but also apparently a 2013 horror/sci-fi thing about aliens.

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