There are always certain places in a manuscript that tend to have extra errors. If you think about it though, it makes perfect sense. Picture this:
You’ve been working on your romance novel for a couple of years. Not only have you revised and revised and edited and edited (at least a dozen times), but your editor has also been through several rounds. The last of which he/she came up with nothing. You’re completely positive that your work has been polished to a perfect shine. As far as you’re concerned there are absolutely no kinks or wrinkles left in your juicy little flick. So, you press that adrenaline pumping button and publish this beast!
Some time later you come home to a box on your porch. It contains none other than an exciting stack of books with your very own name in block letters right on the cover! You’re so excited that you can’t hardly walk straight. The box is ripped open, and your jeans are changed into some favorite sweatpants faster than they’ve ever been changed before. Then you cozy into the most comfortable piece of furniture you own to dive in… It doesn’t matter that you are actually the creator, or even how many times you’ve read the words, there is just something about an actual physical book… It’s yours, and it’s got to be read!
THEN, about an hour later, when you’re about 1/4 into the story you see it.. That’s right… IT... The sentence that says, “My breathe is heavy as I slid his shrots to the floor.”
That’s right folks! It happened! Not only did you miss this error packed sentence right in the middle of your very first heavy sex scene, but so did your editor… Multiple times! WTF?!?!?!
Here are a couple simple steps to help avoid this very common mishap.
1. Step one, Identify and Accept: It’s easiest to make AND miss mistakes in the most intense parts of a story. Whether it be sexy, action packed, scary, or even sad… Either way, if there is a build up, and an execution for something big, then errors are commonly made AND missed right in that place. It’s because we’re so distracted by the story, that we pay less attention to the details on how its pieced together. We get wrapped up, and distracted… In a way, its a good thing, because you know the story is good. (don’t hold your story telling ability completely against your editor either. They’re human too. And, if your work is good enough for them to miss something to big, then maybe you should kind of take it as a compliment.)
2. Step two, Purposefully Detach: You know your book inside out. You know which pages are the most intense, and you know when you’re about to enter something big as you edit. DETACHMENT IS KEY. As you’re doing round after round of edits it’s imperative that you make the mental check to turn off emotions! At this point, you’ve identified, you’ve accepted, now its time to read the actual words and not the story. Word for word, sentence by sentence. Don’t let yourself get all wrapped up in the big picture or you will miss details along the way. You’re not reading to read, you’re reading to fix.
3. Step three, pat yourself on the back because you deserve it!: Really though, no one will ever understand how hard it actually is to accomplish step one and two. So, by training your brain to pull it off successfully is huge! You DO deserve a pat on the back. So celebrate yourself and your accomplishments.
4. Step four, lather rinse repeat: I don’t think this step needs an explanation.
GOOD LUCK WRITERS!
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