Monday, January 12, 2015

The Boring Part

Well, folks, I have reached The Boring Part of writing - proofreading edits.  For the most part, this entails scrolling down the editor's copy looking for places she marked, and then hopping over to the revision copy and inputting the suggested changes. 

Insert comma here.  Delete comma there.  Change that word.  Delete that extra word.  Put in capitalization, remove capitalization.  :yawn:

I actually feel myself getting sleepy just talking about it. 

But it is part of the process.  I bore myself silly so you can read a clean book - with minimal typos and without rampant grammatical mistakes. 

I am learning stuff, though.  I did not know that when you use a directional word to indicate what I would consider a general location - i.e. Northern Wisconsin - you capitalize the word.  I also learned that cue and clue are interchangeable when using the phrase 'cue him in' or 'clue him in'.  Either one means 'to inform'.  (She said clue, I said cue.  :shrug:)

Yes, I do look stuff up that my editor suggested.  It's not that I doubt her.  It's just that I want to learn WHY I had it wrong in the first place.  (With the cue/clue thing, I always said 'cue' and wondered whether I'd been wrong all these years.  Of course, I also say "I could care less" and apparently that drives some people up the wall, so I work on making that more socially acceptable and changing it to "I couldn't care less".)

The hope is that next time when I send her a book to edit it will be WAY cleaner.  I dream of writing a clean first draft, but that's a pipe-dream.  All I can do is the best I can do, and then hope my editor and my team of proofers catch the things I missed.

How do you say it - cue or clue, could care or couldn't care?  How irritated are you by typos and mistakes in published books?  I know I'm slightly irritated (more so if the mistakes are rampant), but they drive my mother nuts.


  1. I say clue. Never heard it say cue.

    I say couldn't care less, if I can't care any less. If I could care less (if something was even remotely better), I'd say I could care less. See, it's just in what you MEAN when you say it.

    I'm surprised you don't use track changes. So much easier to add the stuff that needs adding. You just ACCEPT the change if you agree! If you don't want to change it, you REJECT the change. I'm always for doing it easy.

    As for typos... I can forgive the occasional goof. It's when a word has been used incorrectly more than once that really gets on my nerves.

    It's amazing what you learn when you're first edited, though, huh? I have become such a BETTER writer from being edited, that's for sure. But yeah, proofreading IS boring. I find I have to print the book out and then read it out loud to really find the mistakes. But that's what I do at the end, just before I say "It's good to go." I'm sure I still miss stuff then, too.

    1. My editor uses track changes, Stacy, but I like the old-fashioned way of inputting things myself - which is good because several times now I've been inputting her suggestions when I find something I want to change, too. It's a control issue, I guess.

  2. Working with editors has helped me just about more than anything to become a better writer. I still have some "oops" that my brain is hard-wired to but those are typos somebody usually catches. The main one is using "it's" for "its". I'm sorry. An apostrophe means possessive before it means contraction. LOLOL

    If you ever look at what I've highlighted in Kindle books I've read, I catch and mark just about every typo in the thing. I blame my high school journalism teacher. A story has to be very compelling to keep me reading if there are massive amounts of typos. If an author/publisher can't be arsed to copyedit, I can't be arsed to finish the book. It shows a certain...arrogance and lack of respect to the reader. I don't worry about your stuff. You're much too anal like me, B.E. LOL And you respect the reader.

    I use whichever could/couldn't that is appropriate to the situation. That said, using either one isn't one of my triggers when I'm reading. I'd bet cue/clue is a regional thing. Around here, it's "clue" but yes, either one would be appropriate and I'd use the one that best fit the character. :) See? Easy peasy. Now get back to copy edits.

    1. Doncha hate those hard-wired oops moments, Silver? I'm getting better about mine, but still. I don't think I'll ever manage to get ellipses right. ;o)

      Anal? Who me? LOL, only when it comes to getting the story right.

  3. I use clue; had never heard of cue in that context. As for could/couldn't care less, it depends. I try not to be involved in discussions where I couldn't care less. For the ones where I care a little bit, but not much, I would say I could care less. Maybe that's unnecessarily pedantic of me.

    Typos and mistakes, if they are tiny and infrequent, I don't mind. Especially if it's a style thing as opposed to an actual grammar rule. When I'm writing I write, just getting it onto the page, but now I'm at the point where I have to back and fix a bunch of that stuff. Like the title for doctors. In the middle of text, is it dr Adams, or Dr Adams, or Dr. Adams? I hate those periods after a title.

    1. Yeah, when I'm writing, I'm more concerned with getting it on the page, too, Keith. Which is why I'm trying to get more of this right the first time, because I hate editing. LOL

  4. The odd typo doesn't bother me that much, especially in self pubs. What really grips my s**t is mistakes. I read a book by an author I really like and up to Chapter 5 one of the characters was called Sadie. Next chapter she's called Sophie and it's not until chapter 12 or so before it goes back to Sadie. Trust me I re-read at least twice thinking I'd missed something. Just recently I read a really good mystery but the victim's name was Dayna and Dana on the same page for the vast majority of the book. I understand how typos can be made but getting the name wrong strikes me as sloppy. Obviously I have no info on the process but you'd think a name mistake would be picked up. I admit it bugs me more when I've paid for a paperback, although I don't know why that would be.

    1. OMG, I hate that, too, Fran. And I've done that myself, but only in early drafts. If you find anything like that in any of my published stuff, feel free to yell at me - because I will deserve a sound thrashing by then.

      With me, I think what happens is I've changed someone's name and then relied on Word's 'Find and Replace' function rather than going through the book page by page. Sometimes Word can be tricky and when you tell it to change ever instance of Tim to Tony, it misses some. Then again, sometimes a writer has read her work so many times, her brain just sort of blanks out over things. That's why having extra eyes on any project is so important.