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dear copy editor - KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
dear copy editor
When my character, while talking about New York City, says that "I heard this was a helluva town," and he and the person he's talking to go on to continue to riff on the song "New York, New York" from On the Town, please do not change it to "hell of a town," especially since the actual lyrics from the actual song written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green are "helluva town."

Also: when my first-person narrator indulges in a metaphor, please do not change it to a bland description without the jokey metaphor because your way is more grammatically correct, as you then drain the personality out of my first-person narrator.

(I generally love copy editors, they are wonderful people, and this one has also caught some major fuckups on my part, but you don't edit dialogue the same way you edit narration, and you don't edit first-person narration the same way you edit third-person narration, and you don't edit fiction the same way you edit nonfiction.)


Current Mood: grumpy grumpy
Current Music: "Hill Farmer's Blues" by Mark Knopfler

3 comments or Please comment
ebenbrooks From: ebenbrooks Date: July 10th, 2016 05:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just in general, don't change the way a New Yorker describes New York.
doniago From: doniago Date: July 11th, 2016 05:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

On the other hand...

I'm doing paid proofreading for the first time in my life, and I came across this gem...

"Suddenly an explosion exploded..."

don3comp From: don3comp Date: July 25th, 2016 07:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
In my proverbial book, you get major "cool" points for quoting that song! Trivia: that's not the first time the Comden/Green lyrics have been tampered with. When the film was made, the line was changed to "it's a wonderful town" to satisfy Hayes Code requirements. Ironically, of course, Bernstein/Comden/Green wrote another show about NYC, titled "Wonderful Town."
3 comments or Please comment