British verses American English, and editing
Do I swear at the computer during these said edits? Yeah. But it's not for the reasons you're probably thinking it is; I love it when an editor comments on a major mistake in a sarcastic manner. It makes me laugh out loud not cringe or cry because my feelings have been hurt. Sure, it can be a grueling process if you don't allow your sense of humor to be present. So I take it all with a pinch of salt and try to remember that the editor is not having a go at me. She/he is only trying to help make my story shine. In my books, if you can do that, and ask questions along the way, you will get the most out of your editing experience.
Back to why I swear at the computer during this process. Like I said, I can handle any smart comment an editor might throw at me. But the vain of my editing experiences are the translation problems. Yeah, who knew American English was so very different from British English. It's not just the spelling.This became apparent to me during the multiple rounds of edits with When A Mullo Loves A Woman, my first published work of fiction. Pearl, the main female lead, took money out of her purse within the story. Her purse was in her bag. What's that? You're confused. Yeah, imagine how confused I was upon being told that Americans call a purse a wallet (male purse in the UK and Oz) and a bag is referred to as a purse. But the book is told from a Brit point of view, I thought. And thus began my first modifications that were necessary to appeal/be understood by my targeted audience. I accepted this and moved on to the next comment in track changes. A twenty pound note. But Americans call them bills, I was told. Okay. So now the character hands over a twenty instead. See what I did there? There was a lot of those sorts of changes. And where I couldn't change it to make sense for both Brits and Americans, I tried to make sure the words could be understood due to context. I'm very accommodating, and very OCD about doing the best I can at anything I put my mind to. So I'll bend over backwards to make sure the editor, and I, are on the same page so we can get it right...together.
Talking of British English...
There's major slang going on in Sweet Irish Kiss. And due to context (reckon I'm getting good at that), a lot of the Brit slang was able to stay :) It's set in an Irish Pub in Soho, London, and I've got Irish banter throwing out all over the place. I think that's what is so fun about this story. Finally, my Brit heritage has come in handy, and is less of an issue. Or at least, I like to think so. I hope my editors agree. And yes, there are more Irish antics in the works. My editor from Decadent would have something not very pretty to say to me if there wasn't. hehe
Okay, you twisted my arm...
Here's an exclusive, never before seen in public, 'bar scene' snippet taken from Chapter One of Sweet Irish Kiss due for release September 30th from Decadent Publishing.
“Ya game is fine, but ya booze-eyes are a problem. Not like ya ta drink this much. I reckon ya banjo’d, so ya are.” Devlin’s thick Irish accent coated each word; a childhood bud and Shaun’s only full-time bartender, he’d come over from Northern Ireland weeks earlier.
Shaun staggered toward his friend behind the bar, tail between his legs. Devlin reached over and snatched the remaining dart from him. He frowned. “No more darts for ya tonight. Ya need ta sober up, so ya do. Coffee? Aye, it’s time for a coffee. San, bring this lad a strong’n.” Sandra, a part timer and born ’n bred Londoner, scurried to the pot and set about getting her boss a cup of the good stuff.
“Gawdon Bennet! Donkey Amateur Dart night. I curse internet shopping and that darn dart board Shaun found doing it.” Sandra clanked the teaspoon in her boss’s cup and went about her vent session with vengeance. “Lawd above! Sunday nights were nice before that bunch took residence. Should be home with my grandkids telling them tales, not here serving this impatient lot, innit.” She poured the full-fat milk and presented the coffee to Shaun. “There, don’t say I don’t do nothing for you.” He winked at her. “Don’t you go flashing your gorgeous greens at me, either. It’s so not gonna fly, mister!” Sandra wiped down the bar and went to serve a punter.
“Dev, I’ve only had two pints. What the hell is wrong with me?” He perched on a barstool and smiled at his friend. He’d lived in London since a child, so his Irish slang wasn’t as pronounced as Devlin’s.
“Pack that in for starters. Ya need ta save it for ya lady friend tomorrow.” Shaun laughed and ushered him to the customer side of the bar by patting the empty barstool to his right.
“San, pour up a pint of Beamish for me mate here.” He frowned upon seeing his friend’s mocking expression. “’I don’t mind admitting I’m nervous about tomorrow night.”