Friday, June 26, 2009


Proofreading-- it's tougher than it looks. The eye naturally fills in what the brain expects to see. I find that the best way to prevent that from happening is to read my work out loud. Unfortunately, that usually doesn't work as well if I'm reading to myself as it does if I'm reading to someone else.

Enter my friend Jane. Oh, the trial of being Anny's friend! With infinite patience she walks around her house, loading the dishwasher or cooking or whatever else she has to do with the phone tucked under her ear, listening to me drone on and on as I read my work in progress. There is very little that I've written that she hasn't heard the first reading.

I can usually gauge how on-track I am by the number of times she calls on God as I'm reading. I know I'm in big trouble if there's complete silence on the other end, though I admit that doesn't happen often.

Then I send my work off to my critique partners who have a look at it. While they're not necessarily looking for typos, they do notice those words that give an entirely new meaning to the sentence when they're misspelled or unfortunately located. You know--the type of sentences that end up on e-mails comprised of funny bloopers.

Then I go back through the work. There are things to check. I have my list of "favorite" words. Deep, that, just, abruptly, all of a sudden, sigh, frown...words that I use over and over and over.

I put the story aside for a week and then read it again. It's discouraging to admit that I find more errors. I've discussed the odd errors I've found in other authors' books after they were released. Frankly, based on my own experience, I think it's a miracle if a book reaches publication error free. But that doesn't prevent me from trying.

Proofreader wanted.


Don't forget the Summer Breeze Contest! Only five more days! Scroll down to the icon and click on it for details!


  1. You know I'll gladly read anything you send me! Typos, bring 'em on:)

  2. Who wouldn't love to get a first read of an Anny Cook book, typos and all!

  3. Speaking as a professional editor, I can say with certainty: No book ever reaches publication error free. It's a fact of publishing.

    Reading your book backwards is a good way to catch errors, too. Takes forever, but you look at every word as a word, and are much less likely to just fill in according to your writer's memory of the sentence. Because what you're reading doesn't make sense as a sentence in the first place.

  4. Yep, proofreading my own stuff is a pain. Proofreading Anny's is fun!

  5. Hey...I'll volunteer. Proofreading other authors' work helps you pay attention to your own.

  6. See,

    This is where that English degree and sememster of grading first sememster English Comp papers would actually come in handy. Unfortunately, I don't think it would really support me. I will keep the day job. LOL. Although, If I could choose the authors, it would be more than rewarding.