Editing, My Books, Writing

Impatience and writing don’t mix!

I’ve been more aware of my impatience writing this last novel. Losing three months due to illness, made me feel rushed to get back on schedule. It didn’t matter that the schedule was self-imposed. I’d hoped to streamline my concept-to-publishing timeline this time. But haste makes waste—or typos, at least.

powEventually, after much writing, editing, and reading, reading, reading, I pronounced An Illusion of Trust as ready, done, finished. I sent out ARCs. Christa Polkinhorn and I exchanged ARCs. When she pointed out a few typos in Illusion, I decided to reread it one more time.

POW! WHAP! Ewwww …

I found a few more typos and many sentences that needed tweaking. Cassie Hart, another ARC reader, pointed me to the typos she’d noticed—a couple of which neither I nor Christa had caught. My concern wasn’t that the typos existed because I suspect my remaining ARC readers will catch another lurker or two, but what bothered me was where those typos occurred.

Not a single one of the edits we found were in a sentence as originally written. I edit as I write, so much of my first draft remains unchanged by subsequent edits. I created every one of those typos during later editing. In fact, I made most of them in the final-polish stage.

So as I correct these typos and tweak these sentences, I’m conscious to slow down, read each word and punctuation mark, so I don’t introduce another problem. For my next novel, when I think it’s at ARC stage, I’ll wait a week and then read it through ONE MORE TIME. Even then, with familiarity clouding the editing brain, I won’t catch every Pow and Whap, but I might avoid the Ewwww.

I hope you do too.


18 thoughts on “Impatience and writing don’t mix!”

  1. Misery loves company! Haste makes waste! Guess what I’m doing? Rereading (for the ??st time) EMILIA and finding a few more typos and other things. So, you’re not alone. We’ll get our WIPs out there, eventually! In the meantime, have a glass of wine.


  2. The last edit pass I make before I send it out, I always change the font in the manuscript. Because I don’t have the luxury of printing it out, I needed something to differentiate the process of editing on computer screen. So I make a copy of the ms. and then swith the whole thing over to Papyrus or Serif, something plain and then re-read the whole thing again. It usually works pretty well for me and because the font is different, it gives me a different “eye” to look through.


    1. I don’t have the luxury of printing it out either, Anne, but I do send it to my Kindle which gives me enough difference to see things I didn’t on the computer screen. But I think I’ll try changing the font to a sans serif on the Kindle and that might be even better.


  3. I cannot tell you how many times I go through my draft — people would probably gasp, “really? you do all that?” yup, I do all that, and plus two. And when I think the work DONE! I know it is not DONE! until I let myself dwell on things a bit, and then look at it once more, twice more, three times.

    The very last thing I do is a final thorough read-through – because, yes, when we fix errors during “final” editing, we can screw up something and not even know it – a typo, or something we change alters something else, or there’s repeating phrases, or whatever.

    Then, after that “very last thing” – it goes to my editor and they proof it, copyedit it, etc – and I take that and go through it again- then it goes to ARC, and I thoroughly read again.

    THEN! it’s DONE DONE! — and still, despite all that? I will find a feking error, or even two . . . or . . . lawd ha’f mercy


    1. DONE DONE is sort of an illusion, isn’t it, Kat? Even if you catch all the typos, there’s always something else you could change. Maybe someday I’ll have the luxury of sending a book to a professional editor.


  4. Ugh, yep, that’s how most final typos happen in manuscripts! Thankfully, my publisher does a good job on cleaning up crap I introduce! The great thing about self-pubbing, though, is you can change those typos if you catch them later and really want to change them. 🙂


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