It’s quiet here, too quiet

My new manuscript is making me nervous. It is very cleanly written. I have little to do but add serial commas. About five pages in, I discovered a sentence that I could rephrase to make more precise, and I attacked it.

I like messier manuscripts. I know where I stand; I can tell that I’m improving them. But this one is in a new field. Am I not understanding the vocabulary well enough to catch the errors? Are there terrible mistakes lurking beneath the surface? Or is my author just a good writer and precise in her diction?

How do you edit a book when the author is smarter than you are? These are the tricks that copyediting play with your mind. This is the downside to the fact that I have a job that allows me to work in my pyjamas (guilty as charged).

What makes you nervous?


7 responses to “It’s quiet here, too quiet

  1. What makes me nervous? The very idea of working in my pajamas makes me nervous. You see, in some old fashioned places we are dreadfully visible when we work. Like my courtroom. And no, your reassurance that no one would know under my robe doesn’t help. I would know. That is humiliation enough. It isn’t that my pajamas are that bad. Au contraire. Some are smarter than others, but I assure you that should I be tempted to experiment with my inhibitions and try working in my pajamas I would wear my best ones. I do know a neurosurgeon who occasionally worked in his. He was at the forefront of developing systems for admitting traumatic head injury patients by helicopter. He would turn up in his pjs in the middle of the night. They had helicopters on them. That was acceptable as dedicated and quirky. I don’t do late callouts for trauma. We make them wait till morning.
    So, I’ll have to settle for another rebellion to make me ble to pretend that work allows me to retain my sovereignty. Any suggestions? For a Judge?

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