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.
“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.