By Suzanne Quill
You’ve written a book. You’ve reread it how many times? Five, ten, fifteen? You’ve done Spell Check and Grammar Check. You’ve sent it off to your editor. You’ve received and completed second and maybe third round edits. Off the manuscript goes for more editor corrections, this time maybe a different editor. Final edits are done the book is published. It’s perfect, right?
NO! Reviews come in and one of the comments is about poor spelling or improper words.
Are you as devastated as I am?
I confess. When I read another author’s books I edit in my head. How did he/she say that? Would I say it the same way? What did I like about it? What didn’t I like? I’ll even write a quote down that touches me so I can give credit to the author when necessary.
Yes, I’ll register spelling or grammar errors but I forgive a few faux-pas, especially if the storyline is engrossing. I am not perfect, either. Too many, though, and they start to pull me out of the flow of the plot.
Here is my question to writers and readers alike. What should an author do when the editing is criticized? Do we reread our book again hoping to locate errors to correct that none of us found in earlier passes? Do we ask for a different editor’s review in hopes that less familiar eyes will unearth the spelling and grammar errors? Do we ask the reviewer for details? Would this show him/her that we really do try to put forth the best book possible?
Sometime ago I read that a good way to uncover errors is to read the information backwards. Who wants to read 70,000 words or more backwards? Or even 50,000 words?
So I am at a loss. What should I do? What should any author do when their editing is challenged?
Your comments and experiences are welcome here. In the meantime, I’m going back to editing my next book, THE CRUSHED ROSE. I hope that this book will be even closer to perfect with all of my rereading and those of my editors. It’s a process and it’s ongoing.
Keep Writing! Keep Reading!