Monday, July 30, 2018

Typos, Flaws, and Formatting Errors

Typos, flaws, formatting errors...  No matter how hard we try to scrub them all out, they still seem to pop up in any manuscript. 

As a writer, they bug the hell out of me.  I'm sure they bug the hell out of my editor, too.  The two of us try our damnedest to  get those buggers right the hell out of my books before they go to publication.

If you follow me on Facebook, you will occasionally see me point out where people have egregiously left one in a short FB post somewhere - usually the news.  The shorter the written item, the more irritated I get about it.  And the fact that someone somewhere was actually paid good money to write short paragraph or two with errors sends me 'round the bend.

Now, you may have seen a boo-boo or two in my blog posts or my FB posts.  :shrug:  I do the best I can but those things are usually written on the fly.  And no one is paying me to write them.  (Sure, in the bigger scheme of things, everything I write goes toward selling books so in a way, they are 'paid for', but let's not split that hare*.)  Hell, there are probably errors in this post.  I'm writing it on the fly at just before 6am, so it is what it is.

As a reader, I forgive a lot of typos, flaws, and formatting errors.  Provided the story is good.  I read one recently where the author kept using YOUR in place of YOU'RE.  But the story was enthralling, so I got over it.  Read another where the formatting was off and there was a space between every paragraph - like you see here.  They either forget to turn off the 'Add Space Between Paragraph' function in Word or they just didn't care.  I got over that, too. 

Hell, I've run across books that were totally screwed up on my Kindle Fire, but they were interesting enough for me to try them again on my old Kindle and they read just fine.  It's just how far I'm willing to go as a reader. 

As a writer, though... GAH! 

I read another book recently where there were multitudes of errors.  I stuck with it and the book was actually pretty good otherwise, so it wasn't a big deal to me.  But the reviews.  OMG, people were ripping the crap out of the poor author.  Telling them they needed an editor (when an editor name was actually listed on the product detail page).  I felt so bad for them.  Not that the reviews were wrong, per se, but I could never do that to another author. 

Finding a good editor...  But that's a post for another time. 

Ahem, where was I?  Yes, yes...  wrapping up...

So, how are you about typos, flaws, and formatting errors?  Fine with them as long as the story's good or do they drive you right up the freakin' wall?  Or both?

* Yes, I meant to write HARE instead of HAIR.  Everyone splits hairs, but few split hares.  It's just gross.  But it got your attention, didn't it?  =o)  Intentional typos... also a post for another time.


  1. There's a difference between an editor and a proofreader. What most people forget is the proofreader. They don't care about content, story continuity, or copy. They care about typos, grammatical errors, and formatting.

    Typos in my work drive me nuts. I notice them in other writers' works too. Drives me nuts, especially when it's a big name author. You'd think the publisher would be all over that $h!+. That said, I've been known not to fix one or two of mine missed (self-pubbed) unless they are HUGE! It's more hassle to go back, fix, re-upload, etc. that I usually have time for. Yeah, double standard.

    Okay, I gotta get to work.

    *I saw what you did there. Made me laugh. It's cooler today. GO fishing!

  2. LOL to the hare!

    Errors in a trad-pubbed novel make me laugh, since they claim to have layers of editors and proofreaders. I do catch myself wanting to take a red pen to typos, even in books printed 40 years ago.

    But there have to be a lot of errors - and a limp story line - before I give up.