Over spring break, our intrepid Editing team pulled off a giant task for us: they copyedited The NinthDay in about half the time we usually take. The reason for the rush is our shortened production schedule—we need a finished manuscript to hand off to an interior designer so that we can print galleys and send them out to reviewers on time. The manuscript is now back with Ruth, who will go over the Editing group’s track changes and accept or reject the edits.
People often view copyediting as a very structured process, a straightforward application of strict rules of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. To some extent, that’s true; reviewing those details is a major staple of copyediting. But those rules are not always as strict as you may think—it depends on the style of the piece. For example, some grammarians would never begin a sentence with a conjunction. However, in a YA novel, with its much more relaxed tone, it would read very strangely if all conjunction-starting sentences were eliminated, especially in dialogue.
In reality, copyediting can involve everything from checking the smallest punctuation marks up to moving whole paragraphs around. Luckily for us, Ruth is a very clean writer, meaning the manuscript needed only a few minor grammar and punctuation changes rather than the reworking of entire sentences or paragraphs.
Once Ruth returns the manuscript to us, it is off to the interior designer!
N.B. —Blue Thread is nominated for an Oregon Book Award! The ceremony is on Monday and and tickets are still available . We have all our fingers and toes crossed for Ruth.