ACES Evolve 2023

Oops! Finding and Fixing Bloopers in Fiction | Amy J. Schneider

Copyediting fiction is like being the continuity director for a film, watching for little mistakes that pull readers out of the story. In this session, we’ll discuss (1) language bloopers: pet phrases, sound bloopers, danglers, redundancy; (2) action bloopers: Chekhov’s gun, drop-in characters, bad scene breaks, remembered elements, “As you know, Bob…”; and (3) factual bloopers: physics, body position/parts, anachronisms, geography, deliberate obfuscation, and just generally How Things Work.

Introductory, Students, Freelance editors, Book editors, Editors of fiction, Core Skills


Amy J. Schneider, owner of Featherschneider Editorial Services ( since 1995, is the author of the forthcoming Chicago Guide to Copyediting Fiction. She is a full-time copyeditor and proofreader of trade and scholarly nonfiction books and best-selling fiction in a variety of genres. Amy has written articles and presented on a variety of editorial topics for ACES, CIEP, EFA, Editors Canada, IPEd, and the Northwest Editors Guild. When she's not working in the soft glow of her four-monitor desktop, she enjoys running, singing, and teaching her springer spaniels to do silly tricks (not all at the same time).

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