Thursday, August 23, 2012

How Many Sets of Eyes?

I was excited to get my galleys back earlier this week for An Unexpected Blessing.

I was not so excited to find quite a few errors after doing a couple of read throughs. I've looked at this manuscript dozens of times, not counting all of the time I spent writing it in the first place. My editor and I did two rounds of edits together on it. And it went to the copy edit department before going to production. That's a lot of eyes looking at it.

And still I found eight things that needed corrections. Some were simple errors like punctuation in the wrong place. Honestly, I can see missing things like this. An apostrophe or a period is so minute, it's easy to skim over. Some were usage errors. Is the word 'fissions' or 'frisson' or are those two different things? The really puzzling ones were places where words were missing. Or entire lines. In the case of an entire line missing, I checked the second round of edits I did and it was there then, so this was something in the translation from document to PDF galley

I know it's easy to get caught up in the story and jump over things like that. As the author, my mind knows what should be there, so sometimes I don't notice if it's missing. Which is why I always do a read through from front to back, and then another one from back to front. The latter tends to turn up things I miss when I am swept up in the story.

The good part of this is even though it's frustrating to still be finding those mistakes, I'm so glad to have the opportunity to find them. There's nothing worse than opening up a published copy of one of my novels and finding a mistake. Nothing I can do about it at that point. Now's the time to uncover them all and fix them.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. It is nice to know TWRP goes through novels with such a finetooth comb, Debra. The end product will reflect well upon you and them.
    When you go backwards through your galleys, do you read paragraph by paragraph?

  2. I learned to edit back to front as well. It forces your eye and your brain to stick to the same pace and you're right, it's very helpful.

  3. It seems to me there is one constant in life - however many people check/edit your ms. or galleys, and whether you do it back to front or standing on your head, you will always miss something somewhere! And that something will be on the first page you open in your published book!

  4. I do pages at a time when I read backwards, not paragraphs.

    And, even with that finetooth comb, I usually find something that was missed. :)