Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Edity Edity Edit

by Bethany Maines

This past week has been consumed by edits for the second book in my Shark Santoyo Crime Series - Shark's Bite. There's nothing like a keen eyed editor to make you realize how many times you use the word "shrug." Or nod.  Or dear God, how many times will my characters smile.  So many times.  Is there another way to say "smile" without actually using the word "smile"?  I may go mad looking up "grin" in the thesaurus.

When I get a manuscript back from an editor I make multiple passes through to make the requested changes and to make any changes to answer questions or fix problems an editor may have pointed out. The first time I make it through the manuscript I think I'm so clever. Then I actually read it and I think, "uh, I wrote that?" The word repetition, the sameness of gestures! And what about scene setting? The third time through I think... "Not bad, except for that one part.  That needs work."  Then by the fourth and fifth rounds I'm hunting for typos and hoping like hell I haven't put any fresh ones in with my changes. Finally, when I think I'll go blind staring at it and I can't think of one more thing to change, then back to the editors it goes. Then it comes back and I agree to fix all the terrible typos I managed to miss in the previous five rounds of read-throughs and then, finally, finally, off to layout it goes.

And after all of that, it's still a fairly sure bet that someone will still find a typo.  And that's when I make this face:

Bethany Maines is the author of the Carrie Mae Mystery Series, Tales From the City of Destiny, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous short stories. When she's not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some serious butt with her fourth degree black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You can also view the Carrie Mae YouTube video or catch up with her on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. ha! Going through edits now for the sequel to Skeletons in the Attic. I did not realize how many times I wrote, "it would be an understatement to say..." and my poor protagonist has nodded her head just about off!
    And yeah, no matter how many rounds, there'll be a typo. Chapter 39, First Edition, Skeletons in the Attic, Callie is wearing a t-shit. Yup.

  2. Oh, poor Judy!
    Bethany, I'm going through edits now and if my characters nod or smile one more time....

  3. Yep. Just found a tiny one in Soldier, Princess, Rebel Spy. Closed the proof, refused to look at it anymore. If I ignore it, it's not there, right? Hit publish. Lalalala...