Monday, July 30, 2018

The Copyedit Curse

I'm starting to believe that the last thing a writer should do is copyedit something they wrote..  Wait, let  me amend that: the last thing a writer should do is copyedit.  Someone once said that writer would copyedit his own death sentence, given half a chance.

 I cannot read anything I wrote without mentally rephrasing it. Sometimes this happens in situ while I'm writing.  Worse when I am going over something the copyeditor caught or a sentence nearby that happened to fall within the firing zone of review - collateral damage as it were.  I try to restrain this impulse when going over the galleys but, as Analog will attest, it is a rare set that goes back to them without change.  I once managed to add a complete paragraph to a short piece to perfect the story (and to use up some unproductive space on a page.

Quote: No story is ever completed, rather it is abandoned by the author. 

It has been a  massive effort to restrain my rewriting impulses as I went over the copyedits of four long pieces needing completion by August 1, 2018. Some were done because I disagreed with the suggested changes but thought that section could have been written better, Others were things that fell under my scanning eye and IMHO  just had to be corrected/modified/rewritten.

How does one lift this affliction?


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