A synonym ambles into a pub…

Our second book is back from the copy editor, who has done the fantabulous job of catching all our typos, bad punctuation, and odd phrases. We recommend copy editors for every writer because author-blindness is a real thing (when you’ve been staring at a line for so long that the word “the” looks incorrect or you’ve reworked a line so many times that it now reads like a Gordian knot).

Every writer has a funny verbal tick or repetitive ear worm. We’re not immune to this problem. We also discussed the usage and implied meaning of words and then realized that what each one understood was not exactly in line with the other’s understanding. So, we needed clarification.

  • Four hundred shades of “gray/grey”:

    This devolves into a discussion of American/U.S./British spelling. One of our characters is British and the other French-Canadian working in an alternate U.S. Guess which way they’ll spell it? Now we’re both confused and can’t remember which one is the American version. Discussion time: 15 minutes

  • Discussion of the word “debutante”:

    Can debutantes be 13? After a bit of research, no.

1. an upper-class young woman making her first appearance in fashionable society.

Also, the scene, a society gala filled with powerful psychic families and the odd ghost, is apparently no place for a debutante. One of us drifts off tangentially on the historical culture of the word and why it still persists. A bit useless as the other writer already knows the same details. Final decision: “Thirteen-year-old debutantes” are now “teenagers.” Problem solved. Discussion time allotted: 25 minutes.

  •  Word of the day: Toward

    Each book has a series of words suffering from horrible overuse. For Oracle in Doubt, it was “clearly”. For this book, Oracle in Trouble, it’s an unhealthy love for the word “toward”, except we keep writing it as “towards”. Neither of us care to see either word again in our lifetimes. Discussion time: Approximately double what it would have taken us if we hadn’t kept muttering and snorting every time we spotted it.

     The book is approx. 200 pages. Pouring over the copy-editor details (which actually aren’t too bad) is going to take awhile. (Actual time: 5 hours.)


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