Please forgive the potty mouth title. The other day I was reading over an excerpt and realized I had put “pooped” for “popped”. Not quite the meaning or imagery I had wanted. I think these types of misspellings are the most dangerous. Not only is the misspelling a real word and therefore there are no spell check red squiggles underneath to give it away, it’s close enough to the real word that when you read it, you read the word you want, not the one that’s there.
You know how it’s always easier to notice things in other peoples’ work? I think author intent has a lot to do with that. When we read or own work we are so familiar with the story and the emotions that we don’t notice the clunky sentences. We end up seeing what we meant not what we wrote. That’s why crit partners and beta readers are so important.
Other good ideas to help see your work in a new way are try printing it out, reading it out loud, putting it on an ereader or in a different font. Anything that helps you view it differently than the last dozen times you’ve read it. Maybe then you’ll catch the poop before it pops and you hit the send button.
Have you ever had a mistake like this, and did you catch it before you sent it?