Monday, June 3, 2013

I'm Sure There Is A Word For This

The this in this instance being a great idea birthed too late to be of use. I'm sure it's happened to you. Like when you make a sandwich, which is okay, but not wonderful, and you realize you have this fabulous pepper blend that would jazz it up, except you are now on the last bite.
Happens to me all the time, and as a matter of fact, it just happened to me tonight, while I was eating a sandwich. No, I remembered my peppers, my realization was about the editing process.
Let's get one thing out of the way right now: all writers make idiot mistakes while writing their first drafts. Some of these mistakes are caught in rewrites, some go on to get caught by the editor, and some make it into the final edition. Unfortunately, for self-published authors, who cannot afford an editing service, this whole process is done by rereading the manuscript over and over until our eyes bleed. It's super easy to miss things, which is why my first edition of Eyes was an abysmal batch of word soup.
But tonight I had a head-smack moment when I remembered that my Kindle has a feature, as do most computers today, where it will read the text. Had I thought to sit down with a cup of coffee and a comfortable pair of headphones, I could have saved myself a lot of effort, and perhaps some of my sanity. No, it won't find the wrong use of there, their, and they're, but that is what the find feature is good for. But when it comes to stupid typos that I miss, I'm more likely to use on for in, an for and, or a wrong tense. When reading, our brains fill in these gaps, especially for the author, who knows exactly what they meant. It's harder to ignore a blatant error when it's being read aloud.
I'm sure I'm not the first person to figure this out, but for any other writers out there struggling with the same issue, I hope you find this useful. I'm certainly going to employ this technique for all of my future endeavors.

2 comments:

  1. I've noticed a couple of typos in The Eyes of the Sun, but I've also notice a couple of typos in the last Stephen King novel I read. I think you did a really good job proofreading, all things considered.

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    1. Ah dang, the copy you picked up was the second edition, which I 're-edited last month. The first was awful and I had no idea. I may have to go through both books again. But thank you for the encouragement! If King's got typos, I'm in good company.

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