#Copyedit: #Self-Published to Traditional: One #Writer’s Journey (3)


Oh my! How quickly I forgot the torture of re-reading my manuscript. That might be an exaggeration, but getting back the copyedit from my publisher was like déjà vu all over again.  In all honesty, she did a fabulous job copyediting my book and had some very good catches.  We have a few minor disagreements in places, but nothing major.  It was, as the copyeditor said, “a light edit.” Our most substantial discussion is about commas.  But writers know that commas are the bane of our existence.  There are so many conflicting rules regarding simple series lists, complex listings and commas before conjunctions.  You can see from this last sentence where I stand on the issue. I’m still waiting for word on this one.  Either including or excluding the comma before a conjunction in a simple listed series is correct.  It comes down to a matter of style.  I’ll let you know how it turns out. I’m pretty sure some of those same commas have been added and deleted several times by the first editors of the book.

It never gets easy seeing that someone has changed a word, a sentence structure or a tense in your work.  But as William Faulkner said, “In writing, you must kill your darlings.” After looking at the copyedit dispassionately, I realized that there were still some darlings left to be slaughtered in my work and went at it. Then I saw a few things I had written that I didn’t like and made some changes of my own.  Now I’m hoping that the editors agree with those changes.

We’ll go through the manuscript once more to make some decisions on changes, and then we’ll be looking at the photos to include.

Let me know if you use a comma in a listed series before a conjunction or not.

Would you write:

. . . Tom, Dick or Harry?


. . . Tom, Dick, or Harry?

Please comment here--I'd love to hear from you