Sunday, October 16

Proof Reading

No matter how many times I read over something I have written, there are always mistakes.

Why is it that I can never catch them? It's as though there is a perception filter which keeps me from spotting them. No matter how hard I try to focus, my mind wanders.

Proof reading is a necessity. There is something very off-putting about reading something with mistakes in it.
  • Picked up a published book and discovered that something wasn't spacedcorrectly?
  • are there capitals missing?
  • What about questions with no question marks.
  • If something belongs to someone, is it theres? Oh yes, I went their. Well...witch is it?
It's aggravating and down-right embarrassing when you make the same careless mistakes that you criticise others for. The obvious conclusion is to get someone else to proof read your writing. After all, the perception filter only seems to target you.

There is a reason why I dread having someone proof read my writing: It feels like a constant string of criticism.

"You misspelt 'according.' There should be a comma here. I think this word is meant to be 'condone.'"

Our writing is more than grammar. It is full of planning and creativity, and we put a lot of effort into it. While we do of course need our failings pointed out so that they may be corrected, it seems that all a person sees when they read through our work is mistake, mistake, mistake.

"Um...cheers. What did you think of the story itself?"

"Oh, that was good too. Very nice."

It's not a great feeling, but I have to remind myself that this is what is needed, and it is very helpful. So in the future, I'll just have to suck it up and not see it as a comment on my writing, but a helping hand with my grammatical errors and typing mistakes.

How do you handle proof reading?


Katehclark said...

Keri, don't be afraid of a trusted fellow writer proof reading your work. It is essential. You are right; no one picks up all their own mistakes because we read what we think is there.
But also, you need to become comfortable with feedback and feed forward from a skilled editor. A gifted editor can see to the heart of your writing and help you sharpen it up. This is not personal criticism; this is having respect for you as a professional writer.

Myah said...

Keri, NaNo is coming up.

How DARE you mention proof reading? LOL!

But outside of NaNo, Iread. And re-read. And my inner editor and I have an awesome relationship. And I have a friend who looks over my stuff when I ask her to. It's never an easy process, but a necessary one.

Finally, HOMG, CASTLE. *love*

Jenny said...

I give my work to my sister to proof-read. She's younger than me, and I figure I can indulge her quest to be better than by having her pick out my mistakes. But really, I've been so bad at spelling since like forever it's normal for me to see papers come back with read marks. I remember getting a paper back from a peer in middle without red ink and gave it back to him saying he missed something because it looked wrong XD But proof reading, and editing, and rejection are all cut from the same cloth and require writers to have a thick skin. Or at least not take things to harshly, cuz I'm pretty sure mine is thin with how many paper cuts I get.

Jenny said...

And of course, my sister just pointed out all the mistakes in that comment. *headdesk*

Book Addict said...

As an editor, I want to say PLEASE don't take anything we say negatively. We just want your work to be awesome. And, in my experience, it doesn't matter how many times you go over your own work. Since you know what you MEANT, it's hard to see what the page actually SAYS.

Shi said...

I actually don't mind proof-reading - it's much harder to find someone I actually trust to do it!

Like Jenny, I also get my sister to read my work, but I prefer that she points out any spelling mistakes than let me give it to someone with the mistake still in it.

The biggest problem I have, however, is finding someone who will actually give me feedback on the story, characterisation, setting, pacing, and all that stuff. My sister will say "It's great!" but give no other feedback, and the same tends to happen when I give it to others... I want harsh criticisms - I really need to improve, but I can't see what is good and what is not in my own work...

Ah, well, we writers are both persistent and persevering :)