Improper use of the English language

Too long since my last post here, because my head is firmly wedged into editing which I find can be even more all consuming than the actual writing is. Third pass on the draft manuscript and I may be changing the same words backwards and forwards but I’m also still finding typos. How do they hide so craftily? I changed the font style and size for this read through, and found five obvious errors in the first couple of paragraphs. Incredible given the number of times I have already read it, and scary to think how many more I might (will) be missing.

The error rate decreased as I moved on through the manuscript,  but this could simply be the result of my anticipatory brain adjusting to the new font. Should I change the font every two paragraphs? Phew! I ought to read it on an e-reader next, but I’ve already forgotten the formatting skills which would allow me to covert the Word document. I do remember that it took me a bloody long time to learn those skills the first time around.

Of course I wrote the words, so I know what they’re going to say. And that provides the eye to brain translator with a very efficient ‘ignore and correct’ reflex which is nigh on impossible to override. That’s my psuedo-science excuse anyway. Unfortunately the reflex doesn’t work on the reader who doesn’t know what’s coming next. I know this because as a reader myself typos and errors in other’s books are glaringly obvious (although I don’t scoff at them quite as much now as I once might have done, nervous empathy stops me.)

Note to self; first draft may be a brain dump, but next time at least try to brain dump with grammar.

It will actually be a huge relief to pass the manuscript on the professionals. The editors, beta readers and proofreaders who know what they’re doing. Me, I really just like telling stories. Having said that I know that I will be protective of my work, and overly defensive about any suggested changes. Foolish, because I loved how the editing shaped and sharpened A Bed of Barley Straw, taking my jumbles of impassioned phrases and tightening them up to form a proper (or should that be improper) novel.

I’m really excited about the cover design for the new book, which is looking gorgeous. (Reveal shortly!) Having a cover makes me believe that the book is actually going to happen (in a way that writing 100k words strangely didn’t.)

Oh the vagaries of the human mind. If there are any typos or grammatical errors in this post, kindly forgive them. I am all edited out (and I know that’s not proper use of the English language.)

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