Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sometimes you've gotta strip for copy editors

I just hit another big milestone in the countdown to release day for MAKING WAVES. I got my copy edits from the production team at Sourcebooks.

For those unfamiliar with the process, copy edits happen after you’ve already gone a round or two on the big-picture stuff with your primary editor. Though I’ve heard of copy editors slashing paragraphs and changing words with ruthless abandon, that wasn’t the case here. It was mostly stylistic stuff, changing “OK” to “okay” and switching “8” to “eight.”

But there was one comment that made me giggle.

You’ve heard me mention the Strip Battleship scene in MAKING WAVES, right? It’s precisely what it sounds like, with a lot of rapid-fire dialogue as the characters fling clothing, ogle one another, and shout letters and numbers to guess the position of each other's boats.

In the middle of the scene, the copy editor wrote this:
I thought about writing a smartass comment back about how there is an easy way to check by grabbing a Battleship game board and playing a round.

But fortunately for the copy editor, I already took care of it.

Pythagoras and I invented Strip Battleship eight or nine years ago it a quiet hotel room in Jamaica. We didn’t actually own the game ourselves, so when I decided to write the scene for MAKING WAVES several years later, I went out and bought one.

“Are we playing for real?” Pythagoras asked when I dropped it on the bed in front of him.

“I have to make sure the scene is accurate, don’t I?”

He eyed the pad of paper in my hand. “You’re taking notes?”

“You should be grateful I’m not taking pictures.”

That didn’t appease him much, but he got to work setting his ships up anyway.

“B9,” I called.

“Miss. C6.”

“Miss. E2.”

“Hit.” He frowned. “Did you cheat?”

“I have to. It says so in the book. Now give me your shirt.”

He folded his arms over his chest. “Wait a minute. You’ve already written the scene?”

“Of course,” I said, offering him my sweetest smile. “I just need to get the numbers down.”

“So you already know you’re going to win?”

I shrugged, not seeing any problem with this. “You want to just take off all your clothes now?”

He wasn’t a fan of that idea, nor was he a very big fan of his predestined defeat. “So there’s no chance at all I’m going to win?”

“Define win. It’s kind of subjective in Strip Battleship, isn’t it?”

In the end, I got my notes. I also got his shirt. And his shoes. And his…well, I’ll stop there. You’ll have to read the book.

Suffice it to say, I can assure the copy editor with 110% certainty the scene is accurate.

25 comments :

lora96 said...

Now that kind of thorough research REALLY shows dedication lol.

Sarah W said...

Man, I have got to switch genres!

Linda G. said...

Ha! I wondered about that. Pretty much the answer I expected.

I'll bet TG wishes I'd research stuff like Strip Battleship with him, instead of knife fights in which pencils (hey, I'm not going to use a real knife with my TG) come perilously close to his man-parts.

Cherie Reich said...

Strip Battleship...that's just so awesome on so many levels. Love it!

Bonnie R. Paulson said...

thank u. was wondering what to do for date night when we can't leave the house!

Danica Avet said...

LOL, I think Battleship is going to become very popular again as soon as your book comes out. I know I have to get the game now, lol

Amanda said...

One of the best blog posts I've EVER read! :)

Matthew Rush said...

Hmm. As fun as this is you do realize that now when we read your book we're going to be picturing you and Pyth playing this scene out, right?

Just kidding, but seriously that comment from the editor is hilarious! They must really have organized minds to be able to consider such detail.

Jen J. Danna said...

Now that's research! I simply love your dedication to making sure that all the details are correct. It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it... :)

lynnrush said...

This is freaking hilarious.

Penelope said...

Ha, I love this blog post! It's really great to hear how dedicated you are to your job.

Rick said...

Sarah W - My thoughts *exactly*.

Debs Riccio said...

Strip Battleships - hilarious! Fancy inventing Naked Twister? (Eee..eew, maybe not...)

Liana Brooks said...

That's awesome! I can't wait for the book. :o)

Jeffe Kennedy said...

Gives "you sank my battleship!" a whole new vibe...

T C Mckee said...

Wow, nothing like taking your research seriously. Off to buy Battleship. Thanks:)

Patty Blount said...

Jeannie Moon and I decided months ago that the local sex shops should sell jars of Nutella next to the body lotions.

Now I have to hit them up to stock Battleship beside the Sexual Trivial Pursuit board game.

*sighs* The things we do in the name of realism.

WritersBlockNZ said...

Hahahaha I think research might be the best part of writing ;)

Candyland said...

Talk about write what you know!!! Sexaay!

Douglas Morrison said...

I wonder what strip Monopoly would be like? You would get to buy things with the money...

B. WHITTINGTON said...

I LOVE THIS POST.
AND how do you like working with SOURCEBOOKS???
I've heard they are good. Barb

Jessica Bell said...

LOL. Now that's what I call research! :o)

pensees said...

Strip Batteleship... damn, I cannot WAIT for this book to come out! *grin*

Claire Dawn said...

Off to buy Battleship!

Harley May said...

LOVE the Battleship strip tease. I wonder if we can play it with Uno, or Chutes and Ladders, or Connect Four, or....

(heart you)