Friday, April 27, 2012


eX:  I know exact doesn't start with X, but I'm cheating a little  here. In the few spare minutes I have after visiting dozens of blogs each day, I'm editing Book #3 of The Futhark Chronicles. This is my final edits before I sent it to a professional for polishing. I printed a hard copy because I see mistakes better that way.  And I'm finding lots of them.  I thought it was nearly perfect but it is far from it. I've been adding and deleting those commas, rewriting sentences to vary their style and messing with those dialogue tags.

As a relatively unknown writer, I need to make a good impression on readers and any writing professionals I can convince to consider my work.  As a writer, I constantly judge the books I read. Even books published by major houses and written by very successful authors are far from perfect. Not everything in them is exactly as it should be.  They have mistakes those of us not so well-known aren't permitted to make.  I recently tried a new suspense author and found every cliche and stereotype in the book I've always tried to avoid.  The dialogue was stilted, the actions of the characters completely predictable and heroine 'too stupid to live.' Somehow the author sold this book and has the second installment in the series coming out soon.  I couldn't read it past the first fifty pages. 

So, I'll keep working on my imperfect manuscript and try to be as exact as I can on spelling and style. Hopefully if someone puts my book aside, it won't because of the mistakes that could have been prevented with a good edit.

Do you try to get everything exact or do you depend on your editors to help it become perfect? What things do you think established authors get away with that newbies don't?


  1. I agree with you. I think new writers need to overachieve a little if we want to be successful. I haven't used a professional editor, just a great critique partner.

  2. It's annoying to see those things in big author's books. Once established, guess it doesn't matter what drivel they churn out.

  3. Congrats on the progress on book 3! Very exciting.
    I strive for exactitude (there's a million-dollar word for you, ha!) but sometimes after looking at the same words over the course of a million revisions (or what feels like it), I miss things. Crit partners and beta readers are great catchers.

  4. It makes me a little crazy when I see mistakes or just poor writing in successful/published books. I re-write, revise, and edit until my eyes bleed. Then I turn to others to catch what I missed. I think we have to.

  5. I do try to get things as perfect as I can. I don't really have editors to help.

    It irritates me when I see lots of mistakes in published books. Especially those of the you're/your or their/there/they're variety.

  6. Taking pride in creating the best you can is never wrong. Only you know the nuances of what you want to say. An content editor can refine it and perhaps polish it so it has the greatest impact. A copy editor can find the errors but first you have to make it the best.


  7. Hello, Susan! I think established authors are sometimes given the benefit of the doubt and maybe editors don't look over their manuscripts as meticulously as they would for a new author. Or, established authors are under deadline and rush something out before it was ready. Not good!

    Have a lovely weekend and happy A to Z!!

  8. You're so right. Readers are so much tougher on unknown writers. I combed through my latest manuscript ten times, and found errors each and every time.

  9. I think it's fair to "cheat" when you get to X. I did it myself on a couple of my blogs.

    I've haven't reached a book edit stage, but I know I'm atrocious with errors and bad grammar. I try to be as perfect as I can be, but some my miswrites are just wrongs that I've fallen into habit with.

    Almost at 100 followers—are you one yet?
    A Few Words
    An A to Z Co-host blog
    My Main blog is Tossing It Out

  10. ...but then, as women, don't we always have to outshine ourselves in everything we do...just to win approval or to earn a salary?? EXactly!

  11. I put my MS on my kindle and I'm amazed at how much I'm finding to fix. A different view works wonders!

  12. I admit I stress trying to get it perfect. I have test readers, critique partners, and my publisher's editor, and I still feel I fall short. Probably why I've never read either of my books once they were published.

  13. I try to get things perfect; and that's not just with writing.

    It's frustrating to see published authors get away with issues less well-known writers would get rejected for. It seems like it should be the opposite--the more you write, the stricter the standards.

    The Eagle's Aerial Perspective