I’m sure that every author has an area or two that they struggle with while writing their stories. For me, there were several. And all of them were unexpected.
I’ve always been very grammar-conscious. That might be an understatement, but, since I don’t like terms like “Grammar Nazi,” it’s what I’m going to stick with. 😉 As such, it was very surprising to me that I had such a hard time with it while I was writing my books.
I was lucky enough to have a group of volunteer editors: my mother, my best friend, even a former-co-worker-turned-friend. (Hey, Nicole! There’s your shout-out! 🙂 ) While I loved their enthusiasm and their help, I didn’t think I would need so much of it!
Now, part of the problem was my own making: I decided to name my hero Noran. I’ve looked the name up on the websites that will tell you what your name means. It’s not there. I completely made it up. Of course, that means that the computer didn’t recognize it at all. (I did, finally, get it to stop trying to change it to NORAD, which was nice.) Since the computer didn’t recognize it, I got that horrible little wavy red line over and over. The computer didn’t like the possessive form of my heroine’s name, either. I finally got to the point that I just ignored that stupid red line.
Which meant that I had typos abounding, and I didn’t catch them. Oh, I caught some of them, but not all. My little group of editors seemed to get some small amount of glee out of being able to call me and say “You have a typo. AGAIN.” No matter how much enjoyment they got out of pointing out my errors, I appreciate everything that they did for me. However, they didn’t catch everything.
(This is going to sound like I’m getting off-topic. I’m not.) My family tries to stay in contact with my grandfather. He lives far away, he’s old, and we worry about him. My mother and I are the two who contact him the most often. Mom, one of my biggest fans, told Grandpa all about my book. He said that he’d like to read it. (Really? A man in his eighties wants to read a Young Adult novel? Okay…) So, Mom printed it out, bound it up, and mailed it to him. After it was all edited and finalized, of course.
He called me a few weeks after he got it. The conversation went something along the lines of: “I really enjoyed it, but did you know that you have a typo on page 183?”
He was right. I had a “that” that should have been a “than.” After all of the editing that we had done, it was an octogenarian who found the final typo.
So, this blog post is to say thank you to all of the editors out there, whether they’re mine or not. The hard work you do is so greatly appreciated. Even by this grammar freak, who was so sure she’d never need anyone to point out any typos. 😉