Copy…Edit…Repeat as Necessary

I clutched at the necklace, feeling the Key spark beneath my fingertips. I willed it to open, the balloon effect softer, the magic seeming to slip through my hands as I tried to focus where I wanted to go.

“Do you have it?” Ion grunted, worrying at the arrow shaft in his leg. “He can’t hold them off for much longer.”

“It’s not the fucking TARDIS ,” I snapped, blinking against the power.


Copy edits for A Sliver of Shadow came in today – it’s a bit bittersweet, actually. On one hand, the book is that much closer to coming out and that is exciting. On the other, there’s a little bit of dread involved.

Some of the copyedits are obvious and easy – typos or the fact that my characters seem to “snort” a lot. *snip snip* and we’re all done.

Others require a little more thought and sometimes I find myself questioning my ability to take a joke a little too far. Or if my pop-culture references are just a tad out there.  Or even classic literature references, for that matter. I certainly don’t expect people to get *everything,* but I supposed it’s a little disheartening to realize no really reads Peter Pan anymore. Or Stranger in a Strange Land. Or Christina Rosetti.

The fact of the matter is the readers don’t really need to get them to understand what’s going on. Most of the stuff is tongue-in-cheek anyway, and not actually necessary for the story as a whole, except by way of characterization. Abby’s use of the word TARDIS speaks larger volumes of her own geekitude than my overt use might be. It could be argued that if it’s not necessary to move the story along than it shouldn’t really be there – and maybe it’s just conceit that makes me put the references in like I do. I do have the advantage of writing in 1st person – by that logic, anything I write is in Abby’s perspective, so it makes sense she might reference things in that way.

And I have to admit that I love it when my readers *do* get the refs – even if they hate that I put them in there. I got a lot of shit for the World of Warcraft interaction in BoD – some people loved it and some people really didn’t. It’s just another layer beneath the surface, I guess. My goal isn’t to confuse anyone or make them feel stupid, at all. It’s just for fun.

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6 Responses to Copy…Edit…Repeat as Necessary

  1. Marci Sischo says:

    Tell your copy editors to leave the TARDIS shout-out alone. I don't even know what's going on in that scene, and it still made me snicker. 😀 But seriously, the pop culture/geek references are one of the things I really enjoyed about A Brush of Darkness. Don't let them take too many of them out!

  2. Sommer Cleveland says:

    I love the geek references. Its rare to find a herione that has the geekiness infection. My husband is a geek and our friends are geeks so i guess that makes me one by default so I totally enjoy reading Abby's references!

  3. mynfel says:

     Yay! I'm glad. There are different levels of geekiness I think. It's one thing to do a shout out to the TARDIS – quite another to start talking about chameleon circuits…

  4. mynfel says:

    W00t! Good. Part of the issue may be a gerneration thing – I don't know. It's sort of amusing to me, though. The copy editor didn't know what the TARDIS was, so that't why I posted about it here… (On the other hand, she let the Flight of the Conchord's "Too may dicks on the dance floor" fly without question…

  5. Cath says:

    Personally I enjoy not getting all the references immediately, I go look it up if I have need to and then I feel instantly more knowledgeable and the joke etc is all the more satisfying! That maybe just me though..?

  6. Renee says:


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