[LMB] copyedit con't

Paula Lieberman paal at filker.org
Wed Sep 16 22:14:17 BST 2015

'"Yes," he bowed'
reminds me of

'Her eyes spat fire."

Unless bowing in the particular way == nonverbally communicating "yes" 
(e.g., Liaden body language), or someone has a paranormal talent wherein the 
character can set thing on fire by -looking- or glaring at them, both of 
those tend to be examples of poor grammatical construction.  I forget what 
the term is.  They tend to be signs of bad writing/editing. '

My opinion regarding to have or not have stories available unbundled--I 
think that it's better to go for the more flexible option, of having them 
available both ways.  Someone might want to buy one at a time, or want an 
e-version of one or more but not all, of the short works.  Perhaps Mountains 
of Morning is the person's favorite story, and The Weatherman the person 
never wants to see again, for example.   Or, someone wants Winterfair Gifts 
because the person adores ACC, but is indifferent to stories without romance 
in them, including the shorter works (and especially the one where the 
intrepid woman does not survive.

Something possible with ebooks is annotations, as regards linguistic 
mutation over time, and explaining i.

--Paula Lieberman
-----Original Message----- 
From: Lois McMaster Bujold
Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 12:00 PM
To: lois- >> Bujold chat list
Subject: [LMB] copyedit con't

Oh, and comma splices, threat or menace?  What about in dialogue,
especially for characters who aren't expected to speak in semi-colons,
but one wants a hurried rhythm, not staccato?  What about dialogue tags
that aren't, actually, speech ("Yes," he bowed.) yet are succinct,
evocative, and in-character?  (Not to mention happening simultaneously
with the speech, not. Afterward.)  And the ever popular and useful term
for an urgent whisper, "hissed", which so many people _insist_ can only
accompany dialogue with a lot of esses in.  To which I say, "Ssss..."

And those adverbs and ellipses... too many?  What about that one? That
one... that one... that one... that one... yeah, maybe...

Word use.  Does that word or phrase appear too often?  In the book? In
the series?  Word echoes, same word appearing too close together, is
there a better substitute for one that doesn't jostle the meaning?  Does
that word over there really mean what I thought it did, 20 years ago?

Hyphenation.  Yeah, doesn't work the way I thought it did when I was a
newbie writer, eh.  Or even 4 years ago, sigh.


Note that I used to leave all this to the publisher's copy editors (I
was too sanguine, apparently) but now that some of my books are
self-pubbed, that would be... me.


And, oh yes.  The 5 e-novellas, 4 of them part of larger works, were put
up as our first e-pub experiments because I had rights to them, but not
yet for the novels.  Now that I have both _Borders of Infinity_,
containing its 3 novellas, and _The Vor Game_, from which "Weatherman"
was an out-take, up as independent works, should I leave the
sold-separately novellas up, to catch the occasional person wanting a
low-cost sample, or take them down, due to the confusion they cause when
some folks buy/have bought the other versions...?

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