stet

I’m finishing the next draft of the manuscript. The copyeditor’s notes arrived, so my novel is marked up with hundreds and hundreds of little, red marks.

The copyeditor has a bitch of a job, I know. The book has to be taken so literally, looked at as letters and words on a page, so that there isn’t a comma or emdash missed. I know this. But sometimes it makes for some hilarity.

First: this note, after a paragraph in the book where the main character’s sister announces she’d like to name a baby “Nelly” because she thinks it’d be funny.

There is an actual rapper named Nelly. Intentional reference?

Hee. Now, I really need a copyeditor, as she pointed out I’d named two tertiary characters Michael, and in one chapter I’d messed up the entire concept of time zones. I am forever grateful for what the copyeditor does, because I’ve had to look at these three hundred and something pages so many times I couldn’t possibly read it slowly enough to find missing words.

But this is my favorite thing about a copyeditor’s draft. It comes with a list of words that, from the best I can figure, are words that are found in this book, but not necessarily in everyday life… or a dictionary. These words, in the manuscript, have tiny red dots underneath them. But in list form, it reads like a poem for the best ad for my new book. I wish it was all the back cover said.

Albertson’s
Armwarmers
ax

BlackBerry
chlamydia

Crazyland

dumb-ass
dammit
daybed

e-mail
Earthquake City
eBay

Fashion Don’t

Grey Gardens
gangbanger
girl-power

Hep-C
honey
heartbreaker

Latin Club
logline

MySpace
muffin-top
mustache
man-friend

shit-kicker
skanky
side-grin
sloppy-cool
sake
Strawberry Shortcake

tongue-kiss

uh-huh
ugly-ass