Monday, September 24, 2012

Prrroof Reading

Very true! Good poofreading is essential

Recently I was asked to proofread a novel that is close to publication. I noticed that as I got into the story, I had to stop myself from just reading the story and go back to reading word for word and do the job I had been set.

I tend to only read a few pages at a time and focus on multiple things while proofreading, as that seems to help me pick up more than if I continue reading for extended periods of time.

I have noticed with my critique partners, they miss more errors, when my story picks up the pace and some (absolutely wonderful and amazing) action takes place.

If you are a reader and not a writer, do you notice errors in the slower parts of novels just as much as you notice them in the fast action packed part? Or do errors stand out more so, in the dragging, not so interesting parts?

When you are critiquing someone else’s work, how do you stay focused on the task at hand and not miss any mistakes or possible improvements when the story picks up pace?

If you are an editor or proof reader, do you have any tips?


  1. When I proofread, I read line by line, word by word, on paper, with a piece of paper underneath to ensure I have to focus on one line at a time. As a reader, I do notice typos - no matter how fast-paced the action - and they annoy me. But everyone's human - it's incredibly difficult not to miss one or two words in 120,000!

  2. I have to do proofreading little by little or else I lose my edge. A bit at a time keeps my mind and eyes fresh. Printing out a hard copy helps too. Mistakes are easier to find on paper than the screen.

  3. For my editing clients, I go through the manuscript twice. Once forward, focusing on content, and then once backward focusing on grammar, punctuation, spelling, missing words, typos, etc. Reading backwards forces you to focus on each sentence and not what's going on in the story so you don't get sucked up in a good action scene.

    1. Great tip Kelly, thanks for the backwards suggestion.

  4. I find reading out loud helps me with sentences, phrases or paragraphs that I'm not sure about ... helps me to analyse what needs to be fixed.

  5. I have to force myself to go slow when I'm proofing/editing for someone else. I get SO caught up in the story!! I do have to go back and double check those intense scenes - I miss a lot there too! :)

  6. I notice typos no matter how engrossing the read, and then I want to toss the book. That said, I miss truckloads in my own work-- which is why we need proofreaders and editors!

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  8. I am neither, however, I have found a few mistakes in a book I may be reading. This is terrible for the writer, and should never be so. Hugs

  9. I notice problems when I'm just reading, doesn't matter how fast or slow the pace is I still notice. I suspect it'd be crass to point out the problems in your article.

  10. Everyone has already covered what I would say, but a couple of extras ... Always check headings and numbers in lists. It's amazing how many errors in headings are almost invisible unless you are really looking. :-)
    ~ Rebecca


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