Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It's Been A While

I have noticed in some of the other blogs that I follow that many people are proficient bloggers. I'm not. Sometimes I just can't think of anything to say. But today, I have this to say. Book one is, in my humble opinion, finished and ready to be edited. Book two is also finished, but in that case, when I say finished, I only mean that I need to go back, start at the beginning and rewrite. Rewrite and rewrite. I actually have started to do that. But sometimes I get the feeling that I need to leave it alone. These ficitional people have almost completely taken over my brain. They are like squatters and I am helpless to move them. It's a good thing I like them a lot or I would go totally insane.
I have gone over both books, but especially book one, with a fine toothed comb, looking for spelling errors, punctuation errors, inconsistencies, etc. I have found and fixed many, but if I go through it again, I know I'll find more. A professional editor will, I assume, go through it again and slash ruthlessly with his or her little red pen. I'll tell you why I brought that up. I am currently reading a book that was written by a new friend. It's published, and everything. I love the story, story is great. Characters are likable, leading man is fall-in-lovable, girl is beautiful but sufficiently self-effacing to make us like her too, their friends are all cool and the bad guys are the kind you love to hate. Here's my trouble. An editor's name is listed at the beginning of this book, and so I know that there was an editor. But he did an awful job.
Every page is a study in punctuation and spelling errors. "Hit the breaks!" (paraphrasing) is one glaring error that I can't quite get over. What good is an editor who doesn't spot it when your spell check has substituted there for they're or their? Commas run rampant, put, in the middles, of sentences and places where, commas don't belong, get the message? I can forgive an error here and there. I have read my own over and over and as I said, always find at least one new one that I missed before.
Now my quandry is, what do I do about it? Should I point this stuff out to my friend? Book is already out there, I don't know that there is any point in telling her, and if she is anything like me, she has read it 1000 times herself and should have already noticed some of these things. It makes me wonder more about the publisher than about her as an author. But if my book were to hit the shelves with mistakes that would draw lethal glares from English teachers everywhere, I would go live under a rock for the next 20 or 30 years. Or at least I would think about it.
So, what do I do?


  1. Since this author is a friend I would suggest that you just ask her in a very sincere manner if she would prefer that you honestly "critique" her book, for an opportunity to improve her talent. If she indicates that she would just appreciate it if you just kept your comments to yourself and just simply congratulate her on her accomplishment I would just turn my head and forget about it. At this point there's no turning back for this book because it has already hit the shelves. So I guess it is just que serra serra. As you pointed out this a ridiculous and careless job on the part of the editor who would have shown a lot more kindness to the author by more carefully editing her book. It sounds to me that perhaps this editor did not get a proper highschool education.

  2. I think she said this book is the first of a trilogy and that the same publisher is going to publish the other two. I would insist on better editing if I were her.

  3. Well, I sent the author a message and told her. Her explanation was that the e-book(which is the one I have) was published before editing was completed, as a test run. The book is coming out in paper copy this month and is supposed to have been fully edited. I don't think, as an author, that I would like that idea. But what do I know?