Actually, for a writer, the tomayto/tomahto thing doesn’t matter as it’s all in the pronunciation. But those of us who are published in separate US and UK/Australian editions do have to face a string of differences: got vs gotten, further vs farther and practise vs practice, for instance, not to speak of the Oxford comma and many other strange points of difference in English usage on opposite sides of the Atlantic. (Note, Australians use UK style.)
Yes, it’s editing time. I’m not yet confronting details such as spelling and punctuation, which belong to the next step in the journey to publication, the copy edit. I am dealing with a double set of notes, the combined input on my new YA novel, Shadowfell, from my American and Australian editors.
Some writers love structural edits. I am not one of them. I await my editors’ comments with profound misgivings. This has not lessened much over the course of thirteen novels (Shadowfell is number 14) despite the fact that all but one of my past editorial reports have been very positive. I regard my manuscript as precious. Before my editors get to see it, I’ve lavished much love, care and angst on it, not to speak of a vast amount of time. I’ve polished it until I can see my reflection on every shining page. It’s done, finished, ready. Not.
Out of those thirteen novels, there hasn’t been one that needed no work at all after I typed THE END. That simply doesn’t happen. In every manuscript the editors find flaws, plot holes, unconvincing motivations, slow passages, repetitions, omissions, silly errors. And sometimes when the report comes in, and I’m tired and busy and wanting to get on with Project B, it can be hard to sit down and tackle the complex and tricky task of complying with the editorial suggestions in a way that is true to my own authorial vision. Sometimes the editorial report makes me angry or sad, as if someone I know and trust had kicked my dog or told me my child was ugly. And yet I always get the work done, and done on time. What’s the trick? [Read more…]