copy edits are like magic grow-in-water animals


1. copy edits are like magic grow-in-water animals. Remember those tiny shrunken toys that expanded in a glass of water? (the alligator was my favorite). Copy edits remind me that the first draft started off like a gator dropped in a glass...a twisty thing that eventually grew into the right shape. It just takes patience.

2. copy edits are like shoe polish. Every line of dialogue...every flicker of action.... has to shine. During this stage of the book, I ask a lot of questions. Did I pick the right word? Could I say it in a stronger way? That's when I grab my red pen.

3. copy edits are like ninja stars. Sometimes it feels like I'm throwing knives at my book. It's not easy, but if you can cut anything (whether it's an entire scene or a snippet of dialogue that needs to be replaced with action), the delete button is your sharpest weapon.

4. copy edits are like seashells. As I kid, I used to look for conch shells on the beach. If you held it against your ear, you could hear the ocean. The final pages of copy edits remind me to pause and listen. I'll hold onto that shell for a little while. Then I'll drop it in the sand. Let the tide swoop it away. Grab another shell and hold it against my ear. I might hear a new story, small as a whisper.