The copyeditor walks the thin line of asserting personality and totally squashing it. And I don’t even mean the author’s personality, I mean the editor’s. As copyeditors, we are supposed to have knowledge, opinions, and experience. And yet, even as we enforce rules, we must not kill the author’s voice. We fix grammar, but try to retain her words when possible, even if they are boring, awkward words.
It’s a fucked-up field. We retain the author’s words but know better than she does what she means to say. You spend enough time in someone else’s genre, you learn the kind of mistakes they make and what they say when they’re doing it right. And even so you have to be totally submissive to authorial intent and publisher’s requirements. I am the small golden retriever puppy turned over on his back.
Is it any wonder I curse a lot on my blog?