colors and such

Ah, there’s that wall of hot humidity I know and love. Welcome back, typical August! I haven’t missed you at all!

So I finished reviewing the Something Like Fate copyedits. Then I put on some Bee Gees and busted several Jason Segel/Nick Andopolis disco competition moves. Because this is super exciting! Copyedits are the second-to-last step in the process on my end. The last thing to do is look over the first pass pages for any details that might have been missed. Or sometimes symbols are misprinted, like when the moon chapter break I used in Take Me There came out as a plus sign in the galleys, so the first pass is when those errors are corrected.

With the new on-screen copyediting process, everyone’s comments are in bubbles in the right margin in distinct colors. What I didn’t realize was that each person’s assigned color can change anytime the document is opened. So I was on the phone with my editor yesterday looking at the copyedits for the last time and I yelled, “No way! There’s lavender!” because all these awesome colors suddenly popped up. The first time I worked on the ms, I was gray and not feeling it at all. All the other times I was dark blue. But yesterday there was lavender! And yellow! Back in the day (i.e. last year) when we did copyedits on paper with lots of Post-its and stuff, everyone got to pick their own colored pencil color. Maybe next time I’ll get to pick lavender for my bubbles. That would rock.

Now it’s back to book five. My characters are talking to me something serious. I’d been struggling with some of their names for a while, but all of a sudden the names came to me, first and last. It seems like there are certain names that show up a lot in teen novels. Lately I’ve been seeing the name Luke everywhere. Whenever I see a name I just used or am about to use in another book, I’m all paranoid that the author’s going to think I stole their name. It’s just part of the Collective Mind. I actually just read a galley of a book that is so freaking good (I can’t wait to tell you about it, but I don’t think I’m allowed yet) with a Sarah and a Toby. Now, When It Happens has Sara and Tobey, so the spelling is a bit different. It’s just the kind of thing that happens. Or like two authors will have books with similar plots come out around the same time. But hey, with all the vampire books out there, I don’t think that’s a problem.

On the other hand, there are some names and words I have yet to see in a teen novel. Like “dragoon.” Did you know about “dragoon?” I think I just discovered it today. One of its definitions is “to boss around.” I dare you to use “dragoon” in normal conversation. Like you mean it.

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