Wednesday, 18 December 2013

My new book is on its way!

Yesterday, I received the first set of edits from my editor for my next book, Our Beautiful Child. Yay!!

You may or may not know that my publisher, Vagabondage Press, are American. So, the hardest part of the whole process is changing all my beautiful British spellings into American. In Cat and The Dreamer, the first book they published, my spellings were preserved which I was surprised - and happy - about, but policy has obviously changed.

I love British spellings, but after a while I started to accept the changes that involved 'u's, and the replacement of draught with draft. But then I hit the word omelette which doesn't have the te in the American spelling. After publishing my short story Omelette in That Sadie Thing I'm rather attached to the spelling, and currently I've overlooked it. It's very possible I will change it to chicken pie or better still pasty just to avoid dealing with it!

The other thing I hadn't fully appreciated before is how many commas American's use. They are everywhere - the British style (or maybe just my style, I'm not entirely sure) seems to have simplified the use of commas. But my editor would have put one after the but at the beginning of this sentence. In the end I've just gone with it, otherwise I would have ended up unediting all the editing she'd done... Not a good way to conduct a professional relationship!

On the plus side, she has added a couple of semi-colons, and by now you should all be aware of my addiction to them!

UPDATE: I thought I'd email my editor, just to double-double check, and I can keep my British spellings. D'oh. If I'd emailed her before this post, I wouldn't have had to write it! Now I'm going through the ms again.

What do you think about American v British spellings?
Do you have an opinion?
How are you today?


44 comments:

  1. I was a bit peeved when my "towards" in "Towards the end of the day" was changed to "toward," epescially as the publisher was Australian and said their policy was to keep local spelling. I think with an American publisher I'd be more likely to accept all their changes, but I'm not sure.

    Congratulations on the book! ~Miriam

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    1. Yeah, 'towards' confused me, I didn't realise they took the s away - likewise backwards and forwards!

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  2. I've never seen a comma placed after BUT at the beginning of a sentence or anywhere else. I think house rules for punctuation and style can be different at different publishers.

    As for semi-colons, I do like them but use them sparingly. Especially when writing MG.

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    1. I seem to have my own rules for commas and semi-colons... and I know that's not necessarily a good thing :-)

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  3. Congratulations!
    Yeah, a comma after but at the beginning of a sentence is common here. Be curious to see the changes going the other direction.

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    1. Thanks Alex. Seeing the changes my editor made, I realise I've been making UK suggestions to US writers... I must watch that in future!!

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  4. Wow! Another book - congratulations Annalisa. I haven't started my next yet, and I'm sure it'll be at least a year before it's anywhere near ready.
    I don't think 'chicken pie' or 'pasty' will have the same feel, especially when Josie decides to be more adventurous with her omelette. I'm always afraid of upsetting people with my English spellings, but I don't suppose it matters as long as they're enjoying the story.
    I find semi-colons are addictive. At one time it was difficult to find one and now they're everywhere. It's a bit like that old joke ...

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    1. Thanks Fanny. I was considering changing to pasty in the new book, but you get loads of points for referencing Omelette :-) This book was accepted about a year ago, it's just taken a while. My publisher is up-and-coming and have a constant line of new books. I had to wait my turn!

      Good luck when you do start the next one!

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  5. Yeh! And the whole American vs British spelling issue doesn't bother me. As long as I get the drift and I enjoy the story, then I'm good. :)

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    1. I don't even notice it with American writers, but I'm British writing about Britain, it was starting to seem odd to me... Until I questioned it and realised my editor doesn't mind either way... :-)

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  6. I am really bad about the misplacement of commas, and I have a Master's Degree for goodness sakes LOL.

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    1. I just use the excuse that I'm exercising the right to be creative :-)

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  7. My publishers are American but they let me keep most spellings the same. But I do get tripped up sometimes when I'm editing manuscripts written in US English and I have to look things up in my grammar guide to check if there's an error or if it's just a US/UK English disparity!

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    1. Mine are letting me keep mine too, I posted an update after you commented. I hadn't realised how different the grammar was, though.

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  8. I am the world's worst about commas, I use them way too often. I didn't know it was more common here, now I feel less alone LOL.
    Congratulations!!! Looking forward to this book. :)

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    1. I don't think you guys use them more, just in different places! Thank you :-)

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  9. I like your omelette better, too. :) I also have always spelled grey with an 'e' instead of an 'a.' I don't know how it started, but I just like it better! ;) (I'm saying it's because my dad learned it that way from his English parents and then taught me to do it that way, too, but I have no idea.)

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    1. I'm biased, I think all words look better :-)

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  10. Oh, and more importantly, YAY for a new book! I can't wait to read it. :)

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  11. I'm an American sitting here thinking "there's no te in omelette?"

    And I never know what to do with commas anymore. They've truly become the bane of my existence.

    Congrats on the new book. That's such exciting news!

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    1. Thanks M.J. I'm sure there was an author once who wrote without punctuation, although I might be making that up. Worth a try maybe?? :-)

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  12. Hi Annalisa .. wonderful news re the book .. "Our Beautiful Child" ... oh dear - are the Brits losing their English to the Americans .. that distresses me ... but so be it. I don't like it .. but nought we can do ..

    Forewarned is forearmed I guess .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks Hilary. And British spelling will be retained, at least in this book :-)

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  13. Congratulations on the book! :-) So glad to hear that! Also glad you can keep your British spellings!

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  14. Congratulations! I'll take either British or American spellings. I'm not picky. :)

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    1. For any other writer I'm not picky at all - I don't even notice - but seeing American spellings from me just looked wrong.

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  15. Pleased to hear you can keep the English spelling, it will save you a lot of work too :)

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    1. Thanks Suzanne. Actually, no work involved, just rejecting a couple of changes :-)

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  16. Congrats on another book! I am so proud of you.

    In South Africa we use British spelling as well, so when I started writing books for the purpose of publication, i had to change everything to American spelling, because I was submitting to American agents. But I agree, it can be really confusing sometimes, especially when certain words are considered incorrect spelling with British English. But I have changed my MS word default to American spelling, so now i don't worry about it anymore. Best of luck to you and wishing you and your family well.

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    1. Thanks Murees. Changing the default spelling sounds like a good idea.

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  17. Congrats on the book. You have to decide if your target audience will accept British Spelling just as much as American and go from there.

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  18. Being as I'm from New Zealand I'm quite at ease with the British way of spelling. Much more than American. But hey, it's easy enough to understand!

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    1. I have no problem at all reading it, but it looks really strange coming from my pen!

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  19. England was civilised long before America - in fact the jury is still out on whether America ever got there :) - so when sites like Google try to make me spell American I grind my teeth in rage.

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    1. I'm just going to step away from the politics of this comment Liz :-)

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  20. I love British spelling especially in a British novel. It helps set the scene. I also hate commas. I am comma challenged so wish I could write like the Brit's do! Congrats and good luck with your edits. I'm getting mine back either today or tomorrow and can't wait to see what my editor did and what she thinks. Looking forward to the holidays, and hope you have a super one!

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  21. Hi Annalisa,

    Oh no, not American English. Of course it goes beyond that. Things like the car's wheels are spelt "tyre" here and "tire" in Canada and America. I would like to note that most English speaking Canadians spell the same way as we do in Britain. Such "colorful" thoughts in your "neighborhood". My apologies to my English, English spell check. Congrats, by the way, Annalisa.

    Gary :)

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    1. Thanks Gary. The annoying part about different spellings is that you'll get a word, and it doesn't look right whatever way you spell it!

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  22. It's a pity you have to edit out the British spelling. Then there's the double vs single quotes...good luck and Merry Christmas.

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  23. And I think the number of commas is an editorial preference. Too many commas are just as annoying as not enough.

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Please comment - I love a good chat!