Friday, January 13, 2012

Nuts and Bolts

I'm having someone help me with a final check through my MS before sending it to betas.  I'm shocked at how many things I've missed.  I know grammar isn't my strong point so I expected all the missed commas, but oh how many times I've misspelled a word.  Waive for wave.  Solder for soldier.  Thing for think. Sometimes I have words repeat repeat themselves. When it's a real word spell check doesn't get it and I, having read it all so many times before, see what I think is there rather than what is. Next time I'll print it out and read it out loud.    Or I can just give it to my mom and have her fix it again.  Thanks Mom!

What do you do to help find all those nitty gritty problems? And can we ever find them all?

20 comments:

  1. Use your betas, lol.

    A main character in one of my books was Brian, and I kept spelling it brain.
    I finally did a control F and found all the "brains" and turned them into brians . . . except for the one that had to stay, lol.

    NOT easy.

    I read my books on my kindle. It REALLY helps me see those little things.

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    1. I do plan to use my betas but since this is the first time I'm sending out a whole manuscript as opposed to getting scenes critted I'm afraid of overwhelming and alienating them.

      I think those changes, printing it out, putting it on the kindle, changing it up helps us see things we would have overlooked otherwise.

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  2. Oh, I don't catch them very well. Look at the snips I post on the Forum for examples. I'm hoping my eyes get better at it as I go.

    Good luck with yours.

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  3. I think printing it out is a great idea. But I also agree with Jolene. Others will catch mistakes better than we will. Especially at the end when we've read it so many times and the story is so close to us. It's harder to see what's wrong with it.

    But sounds like you're closing to finishing! Yay!

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    1. Yay! Though it may be one of those get it back from betas and have to redo the whole thing.

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  4. Yes, you will find them all Sara! It just takes time. I still double line space my print-outs and just when I think I've got them all...I find more. This is what editing is all about. I encourage you to show it to Mom...mom's really know best. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes are quicker in spotting all those errors.

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    1. Moms are the best!

      You're right, this is editing and it just takes time and attention to details.

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  5. NO! It is a universal truth that you will NEVER find every one of those little buggers!

    But you do all the things we read about and then do 'em some more, and then let it go to kindergarten on its own.

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    1. Nice imagery. I think it's just as hard as letting a child grow up.

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  6. You can't! You can never find them all! Typos are the bane of my existence. Several rounds of edits (with my agent, with my editor, with my husband) later and I STILL find the odd typo. Gah.

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    1. Well it's nice to know I don't have to stress over not having it perfect.

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  7. I print and read with a coloured pen [g] I'm so nitpicky about this that I worry folk will make fun of me if they catch stuff in my MS!

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    1. I won't make fun of you. :) What color pen? I really only like to write with black. And I have a favorite pen and won't use any other kinds. Is that crazy?

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    2. Ever since I discovered these pens I haven't been able to use any other - the Pilot G Tec C4 - love the super fine nib. They come in all different colours, and I love them all, pink, red, black, purple, brown, navy, green, orange...

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    3. I love the pilot G-2. But I like the large nib. I don't do super fine.

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  8. I usually get frustrated over them (because they are SOOOO obvious!). Like you, I see what I know should be there instead of what IS there. One of the best tricks I've found is to read backwards. It's tedious and takes forever, but you'll be amazed at all the mistakes you catch! And reading out loud is an EXCELLENT editing device.

    Good luck to you in those edits!
    Jen

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    1. Yes! it's the obviousness of them that is so frustrating! How did I miss it?

      I used to read my papers backwards in school. I'd forgotten. It would be interesting to do it on a full manuscript. I'll have to keep that in mind.

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  9. Oh, I hear you on this. I find that coming back to a manuscript after some time away from it lets me see it with fresh eyes. (And I have wonderful beta readers/editors who catch things I miss, too!)

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    1. That's probably a good idea. I'm just so close to done I get a little obsessive trying to finish it.

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