By: Alison Qigley (appearing on Belinda Pollard’s blog)
You’ve written the story of a lifetime. It’s going to win the next Bridport. Champagne corks will pop; relatives will phone.
The sense of euphoria from a job well done lasts till the next morning, when you read what you submitted the day before and notice a big fat copy error. Somehow, a crucial noun in your opening paragraph isn’t there, and without it the sentence makes no sense.
The frustrating thing about this fiasco isn’t that you were careless, but that you made this mistake despite hours of careful proofreading.
Perhaps you’ll berate yourself for being stupid, but before you go too far with self-criticism, take a moment to reflect on the complexities of proofing. To some extent we all suffer proofing ‘blind spots.’ Even the most accomplished authors struggle to proof their own work.
So why is it so hard to be a perfect proofreader? Does it owe to simple lapses in concentration or is there something more fundamental going on here – something to do with the way our brains are wired to read?
The things writers talk about over lunch
Questions like these come to my attention when I’m dining in a cafe overlooking a car park on the Sunshine Coast. It’s a warm June day, and I am here with Steve Reilly, an award-winning short story writer who has been
judging a local writing
competition for the Sunshine Coast Literary Association.
As we tuck into our omelettes, the topic turns to proofing. “I’ve got to confess,” Steve says, “that I’m not one of those writers who can do one single edit, checking everything
at one read over. I have to edit for one thing – then move
on to the next. So I have a hit list of things to look for.”
I’ve seen his work and I’ve been impressed by his clean copy, so I ask him if there are any proofreading tricks he might want to share.
The usual suspects
At first Steve pulls no surprises. “There’s no point proofreading something that will have to be removed later on. Get rid of the big errors before you fix the smaller ones.”
. . .
Read the full article HERE!
If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
our own work: Overcoming ‘
autocorrect’ | @Belinda_Pollard http://ow.ly/IxHUt
- Should Authors and Publishers Spy on Readers? | Digital Book World http://ow.ly/IxZsp
- Fiction University: Balancing the Number Characters and the Scale of Your World http://ow.ly/Iy4BX
- How to turn a short story into a novel | Nail Your Novel http://ow.ly/Iy4Ua
Authorgraph– Sign eBooks for yourReaders! | Indies Unlimited http://ow.ly/Iy55A
- 6 Lessons Learned Between Books 4 & 5 | Molly Greene: Writer http://ow.ly/Iy5g6
- Interview with Author Lindsay Buroker http://ow.ly/Iy5BP She’s a powerhouse of information that no author should be without.
- How To Beat The Fear Of Self-Publishing | Molly Greene: Writer http://ow.ly/Iy62B
- 15 Step Guideline To Create Your 2015 Digital Marketing Strategy http://ow.ly/Iy6wi
- 25 Signs You are Already Successful and You're Simply Unaware http://ow.ly/Iy7ae
- Creating An Author Business Plan: Setting Your Goals - Marcy Kennedy http://ow.ly/IylBZ
- Janet Reid, Literary Agent: Query Question: Query POV http://ow.ly/IylMA
- Give Me 3 Minutes and I’ll Give You a Better (and Darker) Backstory - Helping Writers Become Authors http://ow.ly/IylUy
- Why Managers And Employees Have Wildly Different Ideas About Work-Life Balance | Fast Company | business + innovation http://ow.ly/Iymq8
- Julie Musil, Author: Insecure About Queries? #IWSG http://ow.ly/IymF4
- Changing Your Paradigm About Your Author Platform! http://ow.ly/Iyn4y
- 10 Sites You Need To Create Awesome Author Stuff! http://ow.ly/IyndG
- Top 3 Writing and Marketing Tips for Any Author http://ow.ly/IynMD
- The Most Highlighted Passages in Montlake Romance Titles | GalleyCat http://ow.ly/IyqOl
- The Business of Screenwriting: The Birth, Life and Death of a Movie (Part 1) | Go Into The Story http://ow.ly/IyrRj
- How To Stage A Comeback | Molly Greene: Writer http://ow.ly/Iysg6
- Why you should Connect YouTube and Twitter http://ow.ly/IyuGR
- The 3 Most Important Things Blogging Taught Me | Creative Writing with the Crimson League http://ow.ly/Iyv0S