Home » Writing » Editing Stage 6: Proofreader #2

Editing Stage 6: Proofreader #2

After  I get my book back from LeeAnn, I accept her changes and make minor revisions based on things she’s highlighted. On occasion cough, cough, I’ve had a brilliant idea strike after I’ve already sent it off to her and will make a change or two elsewhere within the text–such as with the one that’s coming out soon. I had a fabulous idea and I had to make changes to two different parts of the story. Usually, I do not make many changes at this point because I have a tendency to make errors (probably due to nerves).

Then I send it to one more set of eyes…

Why? First of all because I’ve made a change. Second, it’s always, always, always helpful to have one more person look over it. We’re all human and typos are inevitable. So I have one more person look it over and here are her views on what she does:

Thanks for inviting me to your blog today, Rose. (You’re welcome, but no thanks necessary as you’re doing me a favor.)

I have been proofreading for several years now and really enjoy it. When I read it’s like watching a movie, so if there is an error the movie in my mind screeches to a halt. I also get rather anal over content changes and it’s proven to be helpful asset. Most of my clients have been handpicked. I feel that I can do my best work if I enjoy the books. Also, this way I always get to keep up on my favorite authors, like Rose.

I began writing a series in January and it’s helped with my work as well, as I see how easily you can write the wrong word. It surprised me to find I had written words like knew instead of new and through instead of threw, as I definitely know the differences. When typing a story out the mind seems to do it’s own thing.

Fortunately, I’ve been very blessed with the other two I have who read it first and she’s never come back to me with something that makes me have to revise an entire storyline–usually it’s a missing period when nobody’s pregnant (my favorite joke she puts in the margin) or a handful of minor punctuation errors, and as you guessed it, these are mostly found where I’d made changes!

As she mentioned with writing her own books, when you look at the words all day and YOU’RE the one writing it, you don’t see your errors. To me it seems that your brain knows what you meant, so that’s what you see. Even if you’re watching the screen as you type, the wrong word can still be written. And the faster you go (because the story is pulling you, of course) the more likely you are to make a mistake and not notice it. It happens. My shortest book was roughly 70,000 and my longest was 106,000, most of them ranging in the 85+ range, that’s a lot of words. Even 70,000 is a lot of words, commas, periods, quotation marks, etc, mistakes are bound to happen and I have what I call the triple-threat defense with these three awesome ladies. Is it perfect? (Sorry, ladies, but it’s inevitable.) BUT, it’s as close to perfect as humanly possible and I value my editing and proofreading team more than I can possibly express.

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7 thoughts on “Editing Stage 6: Proofreader #2

  1. Rose–you are so right. I worked for a newspaper for fifteen years and a legal publisher for five. I edited and typed social news items on into the computer and I could not proofread the stuff I had edited. That’s why we had two proofreaders, plus the managing editor doing a triple check and sometimes, things still got printed wrong.

      • I always find typos in my e-mails (sigh). I used to have a scrapbook for the paper, and I kept some of the typos that we caught before they made it into the paper. After I left, there were a lot more because the new owner decided they shouldn’t have any more proofreaders. That was one of his many bad decisions.

  2. Drives my husband crazy when we’re watching a movie and I see mistakes (changed shoes, tie/no tie). I can’t help it…and I’m glad I’m not the only one to do that! Errors in books bug me, too. 🙂

    • I’m not so good at that unless it’s really obvious or continual. My eyesight is pretty bad, so I’m hopeless at noticing a change of details on TV, but I do notice it in books.

      • The other bad decision he made was getting rid of me after fifteen years. But it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me–I got a job as a proofreader for a legal publishing company.
        Of course, that job ended after five years when the company was bought out by a bigger company and moved their offices out of town. The job I have now is somewhere in the middle of the other two.

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