Once again I'm copyediting a book, a crazy little one of my own this time. (Don't ask.) No, do ask, because this type of book allows me to ignore many issues of correctness and grammar.
First, let's get this straight: the big edit is done and dusted. For example, the manuscript has been dismantled and restructured, and four chapters chucked out. Now the book's ready to give the designer, but for one last tidy-up.
These are short stories: 26 different narrators tell their stories as if they're being interviewed. Most of them speak informally, so like most fiction writers I can set my own rules for style, within reason.
Consequently the only tools I need are my old faithful Roget's Thesaurus, an Oxford spelling dictionary and a wee style sheet for consistency. Copyediting fiction is such a breeze -- when you wrote the book!
Confession: I do have style guides on hand, just in case. These are my enduring favourites:
- The Australian Editing Handbook, Second edition (Wiley)
- The Bedford Handbook, Diana Hacker (Bedford/St Martins, Boston)
- New Hart's Rules (Oxford)
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