Adventures in Publishing: Proof
|I had no idea who some of these characters were—
Can you even change the tense to match my noun? Jolly good town!
My proofreader was listed as one Bethany Reis, with whom I felt intimately connected these past weeks. After all, she’d gone over my book more thoroughly and minutely than anyone else, including me (including I? Including myself? Bethany would know). She’d scrutinized every word, looked up every reference,
and had laid out her findings, a secret map for me in hieroglyphic code. As I went through the pages and her notes, I imagined her whispering in my ear. She would have a voice not unlike Scarlet Johansson. “Are you really sure you want to echo the word ‘propelled,’ as you’ve just used it in the previous paragraph?” she would ask huskily. I would brandish my purple pencil and slash out the word, scribble in “incited” instead. Magic! We twirled our way through the pages, this duet of STET’s and checkmarks. I may not have agreed with her every note, but I appreciated them all. I was lucky for her discretion; her gentle admonishments rarely made me feel like a total idiot. I’d love for her to read this post, but I’m afraid she’ll make me rewrite it. In fact, I’m sure she’d make me rewrite it. (“Did you mean to repeat the word “rewrite”? Is the repetition intentional?”)
My List of Most Oft-Used Mistakes
- Constantly mixing up “farther” and “further.”
- Adding the unnecessary word “of” to “off” (“He picked the bag off of the floor.”)
- Capitalizing the seasons (did we learn to capitalize seasons as children?)
- Adding a “d” to “size,” as in “travel-sized.”
- Playing fast and loose with using the Oxford comma (the final comma before “and” in a series of things).
- Adding an “s” to the end of “upward,” “backward,” and most especially, ever and always, “toward.”
Topics: Fiction • graphic novel • Her • Proof Reading • St. Martin's Press • Still Life Las Vegas
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