The Blue Pencil

Historically, editors marked texts for revision with blue pencils. Hardscrabble publishing and journalist characters in nineteenth-century literature are often seen with those writing instruments tucked behind their ears or littering their desks. I once spent several long days in special collections at the Library of Congress reading the letters of an elderly writer written entirely in a large, scrawling hand in blue pencil.

Today, I think the words “red pen” conjure fear in the hearts of many — if we think of editing as happening on paper at all. But there’s something about the revision process that I actually like. It’s so wonderfully absorbing. So fabulously obtuse.

editing brave

At present, I’m working through a paper copy of Brave in Heart trying to finalize my changes. After this, there is only copyediting to go. So expect posting and Tweeting to be light this week. Lots of exciting teasers and posts are in the pipeline, however, and in a little less than two months, you’ll finally be able to read the book!

Now I’ve officially stressed myself out, back to my black pen…

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