Friday, January 16, 2015

Cry, baby

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

This is the model typewriter I learned to type on.
I have been awash in typos lately.  The thing is, when I'm working on a story, I type my butt off--as fast as I can to get my ideas down before I lose my train of thought.  Back in high school, when I was learning to type (keyboard, for you youngsters), they stressed not only accuracy, but more importantly SPEED.  So usually we were trying to type as fast as we could (on horrible MANUAL typewriters) which ruined our accuracy.  But ... that's how they judged you.

Grrrrr.

So, during the past month or so I've been proofreading my butt off. (And boy do I wish that I could actually trim inches that way.) I've read Evolution: Jeff Resnick's Backstory FIVE TIMES. (And re-read two of the short stories yesterday and STILL found three instances that I thought should be changed to be more precise.)  That book means something very special to me, and I want it as perfect as I can make it.

Will I read it again?  I have a feeling I will.

I'm currently working on proofing the Tales of Telenia: THRESHOLD manuscript or the upcoming print and audio editions.  Man--I'm changing so much, plus have found all kinds of nit-picky errors.  how can it be that after having beta readers go through it, AFTER Mr. L and I went through it--and much more than once, there are still errors?

This week I've been working on the copy edit of A Fatal Chapter (Booktown Mystery #9), and am wincing at the errors. I'm going through and checking the changes the copy editor made (and I found more than a few she missed) and putting them in my copy of the manuscript, which I intend to print out and read again (with a bookmark under each line to make sure I read EACH AND EVERY WORD).

I've got a new Jeff Resnick short story coming out on February 3rd called Crybaby.  Every night for the past two weeks I've read the story, printed it out, made changes, printed it out and read it again.  EVERY NIGHT FOR TWO WEEKS. (It's enough to make you cry!)  Last night, I read it one more time and STILL made tiny tweaks.  This has got to stop.  We all want our work to be the best we can make it, but when it comes to commas, sometimes I think we're being just a little too anal.

Still. I do want my work to be the best it can be.  It's what I expect when I read the work of any other author. But man, how can anybody make so many typos?

Do you notice typos when you read a book?