Don’t spoil a good story with bad editing

Fiction S-Z (a sequel)

Fiction S-Z (a sequel) (Photo credit: Mrs Logic)

AS AN author as well as an editor, I know that we all can make typos and silly mistakes that escape our attention. But writing a full length story or novel shouldn’t be spoilt because you’re in a rush to get it published. I’ve been reading several ebooks of late … all great stories but sprinkled with typos and misspellings that could have easily been picked up by a sharp-eyed proofreader or an editor. I even have writer friends who dismiss a final edit by an expert and rather resort to a scan by family members and friends who are not trained to pick up those errors. I know there is an expense involved, but if you are not prepared to pay a proofreader or editor to go through your copy, then at least learn to do your own editing, arming yourself with a good dictionary and grammar guides.

Hey, I’m not even talking about a substantial edit where a professional editor begins to rewrite your work (although some may indeed need that). The basic need when you finish all the drafts of your work is to find a good proofreader to scan it and fix up all those typos and misspellings that even your wordprocessing program’s spell checker misses. It won’t pick up things like mixing up there, their and they’re or then and than, your, you’re and so on.

I have even seen authors use a word wrongly, creating a whole new meaning that has nothing to do with the word, but is associated with a similar word. An example was an accomplished young author using the word drug as a past tense form of drag. As a reader it was like slamming into a wall every time I read the word … it just stopped me dead for a moment before I could read on.

My concluding advice is if you love writing but you’re not the best in the spelling and grammar department, get a professional to go through it. If you pride yourself on good English structure then go through your copy with a fine tooth comb. You’ll be surprised at what you will pick up.