Editing, Proofreading, Writing


April 5, 2010

Have I mentioned before how much I despise proofreading? It’s that necessary evil, the last step before I think “I’d done.” I can only proof for about an hour at a time, so I have to break up a manuscript into easier-to-swallow bites. (Or should it be easier-to-proof pages??)

Still, it has to be done, so I pulled out my red pens and my reading mask. No, not one that goes over my eyes (although . . .) but one that only exposes a single line of text. I read from bottom to top, right to left, word by word. It’s tedious but any wrong word, any grammo, any typo pop out.

At any rate, this weekend was warm and sunny, so proofing on the deck with water lapping on the dock was relaxing. Too relaxing, because I kept dozing off. Maybe it was the sun on my face. Maybe it was the droning of the carpenter bees looking for a spot to drill. Maybe it was the pfssst from the wasp spray on any bee with the audacity to land on our log home. Maybe it was the incredibly dull writing style. Whatever.

I can never tell my friend that her work put me to sleep. I think I go back and finish proofing my manuscript. I don’t fall asleep in it.

Would that the last two best sellers I read had editors who took the time to read thoroughly and make all the necessary changes. Sigh.

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  • Reply Sally Roseveare April 8, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    I enjoy proofing a good book; it's the boring, hopeless, lousy ones I hate! Good job for getting through that one.

  • Reply Clementine April 10, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Oh that's the worst. It's easier to mark up the work of a critique group member than a friend. Ugh- I feel your pain.

  • Reply Betsy Ashton April 11, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    I sent it off with multiple pages of comments. I warned my girl friend what was coming, told her to get royally pissed off at me, and then rethink what I suggested. And yes, she is re-editing and is still speaking to me.

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