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Friday, March 15, 2013
12:00 AM | Posted by Maureen | | Edit Post
Making copy editing corrections is not the most glamorous job in the world. In fact, I think it’s one of the most humiliating things out there.
I am a writer. I create WORLDS! I invent THINGS! I describe the INDESCRIBABLE!
But I can’t spell worth shit.
And I’m bat blind to the dumbest mistakes.
Yes, going through the many, many, many pages of basic copy editing corrections I paid for. It’s the second book of the Caribbean Spell Series, Red Sean’s Revenge, and it’s a bigger book. I think it’s even more exciting and I do some DASTARDLY things to my heroine. I’m NASTY.
But geez, I’m an idiot.
Okay, firstly, I capitalized every usage of the title governor, commodore, captain, ma’am, lady, m’lady and more I’m sure I just haven’t found yet.
Secondly, I had changed the hero’s name. From Jack to Jake. Which meant that manjack became manjake. Jackson became Jakeson. (I changed that one to Jacob.)
I also kept dropping the last ‘a’ from Miranda’s name.
How about this one. “…held his tongue, determined to wait out this out.”
(Should be “…held his tongue, determined to wait this out.”)
Or, “…convinced herself not to mad.”
(“…convinced herself not to be mad.”)
Yes, I swear, I was drunk. It’s disheartening to realize how many STUPID mistakes I’ve made. And I’ve read my own words over a dozen times. This story? At least that many times, if not more. (I like to read my own stories, I wrote this a while ago…) And I never saw these things. It’s mortifying.
And it’s a real illustration of why, if you self-publish, you need to either pay for someone to look your stuff over with a red pen or screw your headband on tight and do it yourself. Have it read to you, read it yourself… Any of these would work. I believe.
I’m learning how to be humble this week. Yes, there were things like this in the first book, but not this bad. Not this many. I don’t trust myself to find these things. My eyes are tired, I know the story, my reading speedometer is stuck on sprint car speed…
I’m still humiliated.
But I am gratified to know all of this is being caught. None of my readers, no matter how many or how few, won’t see how riddled with mistakes – typos, misspeaking, bad grammar – and, evidently, I don’t know how to use commas correctly.
The next book, I’m paying my beta copy editor a bonus.
I’m getting better, but I’m not great… I’ve seen some bad mistakes in ebooks the big 5 publishers put out. It’s a bit of a relief. I’m not the only idiot out there.
What tricks do you use to clean up your copy? What do you see when you read that drives you bonkers? Any examples of things you’ve caught in your stories that you want to share?