Drooling High Quality XXX

Coming home to an empty house.

And stupid. But she liked Nikki, and she wanted to help her out. The poor girl gave up life as a serious academic to be Miss K's made. She deserved a little treat for all her hard work. "I could let you read over the pages she sends me."

"Really?"

"In secret, of course," added Laura.

"Of course!"

"I think it's technically a violation of my non-disclosure, but you won't tell anyone that I gave them to you, right?"

"Absolutely not." Nikki held up her right hand like she was going under oath in court. "Girl Scout's honor."

"And you won't tell anyone what happens in the stories? No leaking spoilers or earlier drafts?"

"I swear. I won't even take them out of the room. I'll read them in here. You can watch me."
Laura shrugged. "Sounds good."

Nikki looked over at Laura's desk, at the stack of papers. "Can I start now?"

"Sure, but let me stay ahead of you so I can work. You can read the pages as I finish them."

Nikki clapped wildly. Laura laughed and got up to stretch. She felt better already. The conversation and food did her good. She was tired of lounging about all day. She needed to work. She went over to her desk and put on her glasses. It wasn't much that Miss K had sent her, only sixty or seventy pages. Yesterday, she went through it quickly, but today she needed to make sure she was annotating as she went. She had the shape of the story, but now she needed to help shape the story. Laura sat down, and Nikki brought a chair over next to her.

"Don't rush me, okay?" said Laura.

Nikki nodded.

"Okay, and I work in relative silence, alright?"

"Relative?" asked Nikki.

Laura turned some music on via her phone. It was classical. She couldn't listen to anything with lyrics while she read. She also couldn't listen to nothing. This was the best middle ground she could find.

"Gotcha," said Nikki.

Laura put a finger to her lips and made the "shhh" sound. Nikki nodded, and Laura got to work.

The next three hours went by in a blur. A painful blur. Editing is not as glamorous as writing. Yes, she got to answer special questions about character and where the plot was going. She was an influencer. But she didn't have the power. And writing words is much more fun than searching for incorrect or missing words.

It's also more difficult than one would think. Autocorrect and word processors have made it easier and harder at the same time. Writers make less mistakes now, but it's harder to find the mistakes you do make. The human brain is incredibly powerful. As such, the mind can easily scramble words like cofmrotable into comfortable. You may never tell the difference. Your brain autocorrected it for you. But for most readers, that typo can take them out of the narrative and make Miss K look like a fool.

This is what copy editors were for. They helped the author not look like a fool. They helped keep the audience into the flow of the narrative. They trained their brains not to autocorrect mistakes, but to find mistakes and fix them. It's incredibly painful work for the mind. It goes against what the brain wants to do. It also wasn't terribly difficult. Typos are easy to fix. But you weren't allowed to zone out. If you did, your mind would go back to autocorrecting and you would miss most of the errors. It was like having to do incredibly basic math problems non-stop for three hours. If you let your mind wander, you'd start getting them wrong.

Luckily, Nikki kept things interesting. The girl practically purred next to Laura as she was handed pages that were annotated. Laura had never seen a girl so happy to read a book. While she waited, her legs bounced and her hands fidgeted while she waited for her next fix.

Again, The Magician's Mistress struck Laura as mostly unoriginal.

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