KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Friday, October 20, 2006

Know Your Anatomy

Well, I've done my editorial good deed for the day, and I'm proud.

I'm proofreading today rather than editing, an unusual situation for me, but hey, I'm getting paid as much as if I were editing. It's fun—a vampire novel. Nothing better to read on a cool, gray autumn day.

In one scene, two characters looking for a specific physician peek into a hospital lecture hall, where they encounter a plastic surgeon speaking about how his colleagues can increase their revenues by performing aesthetic enhancement surgery on women's labia. A sexy blonde climbs onto the gynecological exam table set up for the lecture and lies on her back, legs akimbo, to serve as a live model for the description of the procedure that the lecturer will give. The author wrote:
Every eye in the room was pulled to her vagina.

What's wrong with that sentence (other than that you'd normally never encounter it at all)? Well, can the vagina be seen by just looking between a woman's legs and not using fingers or a speculum to get the labia out of the way? No.

So this is the query that I wrote:
Not vulva? The vagina is the interior canal not immediately visible to the eye. The vulva is the external genitalia.

I mean, if you're gonna talk anatomy, do it right, vampires or not.


Anonymous said...

"Her vagina looked really funny with all those eyes pulled into it."

(Yata-tata-tada, yata-tata-tada... With apologies to Spike Jones.)

Anonymous said...


I wonder what the author thought when s/he saw your comment. If someone is going to write such a ridiculous episode, s/he should at least get the details right -- it's hard enough to suspend disbelief of the entire situation.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

I'll never know what the author thought; the publisher will handle the rest of the production process. You won't be surprised to learn that the author's a man. The protagonist is, of course, a man (actually, a vampire) whom women find irresistible.

Anonymous said...

Is this an Halloween story?

I'm not sure if I care, anyway. Though you're right about it having to be by a man - or are you? Are all of those Black Lace fantasies, ostensibly written by women, actually written by men? Surely some are genuinely by women?



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