Friday, January 10th, 2014

Up for Air, Briefly

The Magician’s Land is currently at Viking for copy-editing, which means I get a breather. It’s not done, but it’s very done-ish. Done-esque. Meaning that my editor has ruled the current draft final enough that it won’t need any more major surgery, and has given it to a clever person who knows about dangling participles.

portrait of the artist as a submarine

That person will go through and fix the grammar and spelling and catch the bits where I say “all six of them” when there are actually seven characters in the room. (Hopefully. To this day there’s still one of those in The Magicians. A No-Prize to whoever spots it.) The process is always a little painful, because I like to mix colloquial constructions in with the shmancy literary ones, and they get flagged as incorrect, and then we have a big fight about it.

Also I repeat words slightly more often than most writers, because I think the clunkiness of it is funny, and I hate the artificiality of  when buy zithromax suspension online you’re writing a paragraph about horses and you keep having to come up with ever-more-elaborate synonyms for “horse” (“steed,” “mount,” “equine beast,” etc.) to avoid repetitions. Just say horse again already! But no. Against the rules.

This is why my manuscripts come back with a lot of “repetition intentional?” in the margins.

For now it’s a relief to spend some time not-writing, or rather just writing journalism. I love writing fiction, it’s the greatest kind of work I know, but even I get tired of constantly watching the clock, figuring out when I’ll next have a sliver of free time (meaning time with no children, and no work, when I am reasonably well-rested and also not drunk) in which to move the chains on my book. My family is definitely tired of it. Enough living a double life. I’m sticking with a single one for a while.

At least till the copy edits come back.

p.s. fun event with Lauren Oliver in March

17 comments on “Up for Air, Briefly

  1. Jeanne says:

    “the rules,” they are a-changin…or maybe it’s lack of editors.

  2. Claire says:

    Those tags are hilarious. #equinebeast

  3. Timothy says:

    Oh man… now I’m dying to find the error in the Magicians.

  4. Jaimie says:

    Ha, yes, I should reread The Magicians solely for that error.

  5. K. M. Walton says:

    I do love the copy edit stage because I can see the finish line. I’m awaiting line edits for my third novel, but I actually love that stage too.

    Congrats on being able to catch your breath.

  6. Lauren says:

    Congrats… enjoy the time. I’m greatly looking forward to reading the Magician’s Land. I greatly enjoyed the first two in the series and I enjoy the juxtaposition of fancy and colloquial in your writing (and the “clunkiness”). Thank you for your hard work in these stories.

  7. Akanksha says:

    glad!!! i am reading,the first of the series.Its great about to finish it and starting with magician king soon … waiting for the next one !!! really thank you and have a great time being free momentarily.

  8. Heather Head says:

    Enjoy the break! And that does look like a fun event–wish I were in NY.

  9. Jason T says:

    Awwwwwwww yeeessh!
    Excited to hear it’s coming along. Definitely on the watchlist to snap up. Appreciate all the hard work. Carry on!

  10. M says:


  11. Justin Shane says:

    I’m thoroughly excited for this book I think it will be as entertaining or more so than the others. I enjoy this style of writing immensely, and I’m still holding out for a TV series and I actually think HBO would do an amazing job with it and maybe even showtime. It makes for a better more authentic watch when there are little or less rules in terms of content vulgarity. Anyway, big fan and I wish the new book success and if you get a network to catch on to the series I’d just like to say being a part of it would be awesome. Thanks foer the books.


  12. Anthony says:

    It’s cool to hear about this side of the process. So excited for Magician’s Land. Keep us posted!

  13. Caroline says:

    “they get flagged as incorrect, and then we have a big fight about it.” My god do I hate to defending that sort of thing. It’s there for a reason, leave it alone. I am so amazingly looking forward to this book. Thanks for all of them. Each has been a fantastic.

  14. No pressure, but I check back here weekly as I wait for the completion of the book. God these are begging to be made into a movies.

  15. Erik Bahneman says:

    I’m pretty sure the error in The Magicians is when a class size is counted. I don’t recall the particulars but I see it ever time I reread the book. I’ll look when I get home and follow up.

  16. Erik Bahneman says:

    Yup, page 136, I was pretty sure it occurred when they were filing to the roof. Gosh, I love that book. Honk!

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    I require an expert on this space to unravel my problem.
    Maybe that’s you! Looking ahead to look you.

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