Friday, January 9, 2009

Editing and Typos

I hate typos. Not your typos; I don't mind yours. In fact most times I don't even notice them. But mine? Mine, I hate. I spell checked my AIM messages for years, until they updated the software and the command stopped working.

When editing a 200+ page document, no matter how much you read it, there will be typos. Unless you're some kind of master typist, eagle-eyed, typo shark with a state of the art computer that reads your mind and refuses to let you push down the wrong keys. I assume those people/computer combinations are rare, so I'll also assume that nearly everybody makes typos on a regular basis. Yet, every time I find one, I get 30 different kinds of annoyed. I guess it's that perfectionist streak in me.

Another thing about editing and typos is that after you've read something 15 times, you start seeing what it's supposed to say rather than what it actually says. At some point you have to let someone else read it for you; someone who doesn't know every word of your story by heart.

The reason I'm fixated on typos today is I finally finished editing Shades of Blue and sent a hard copy to Jen!! I'm bouncing off the walls with excitement!

For those who don't know, Shades of Blue started out as a much longer story. Too long, in fact, for a Young Adult novel. I knew I'd have to cut a lot out, but the story was going to suffer as a result. Jen and I talked it over and decided the best thing to do was split it into two novels. That way I could keep the whole story without having to rush through anything. But that also meant a lot of revising to make sure both novels were standalone stories with satisfying endings.

Getting that first novel right is what I've been working on since September. It's such a relief to not only have it done, but also be happy with how everything turned out. In some ways it was much easier than I thought it would be; in others, much harder. But ultimately I feel it was well worth the work, and thus; happy bouncing.

I had to let go of my typo anxiety and trust that I'd squashed 99.99% of them in order to send that hard copy. Once the words are printed on actual paper, the mighty "backspace" and "delete" keys are powerless, you know?

Okay, I really must stop talking about this before it gets me worrying again. It's a long, slippery road to recovery.

For the record, my most common typos seems to be "becasue" and the always classic "teh".


Carrie Harris said...

I once proofed a romantic suspense novel. Whenever the hero wanted to comfort the heroine, he'd stroke her hair or her arm, only the guy who wrote it always typed the word as "storked." I'd get ticked off if someone kept storking my hair. :)

LauraBlue said...

lol I won't even say what comes to mind when I hear the phrase "storking my hair". XD

Carrie Harris said...

Trust me, I've already thought of it. ;)