Sassafras and Dirty Words!!!

I swear, if you decide to be a writer, you must be crazy!  Just when you think it is all going peachy, and the manuscript is ready to go to the printer, a fatal error is discovered.

“But that is why we have editors,” we wail, and gnash our teeth.

And yes, that is true, but thanks to the miracles of modern technology, we now must contend with the dreaded ‘spell-check error’ that may strike, even in the act of signing off on the bloody FINAL EDIT!!!  I have had two wonderful editors look at my work, and we have made a million corrections, and still flaws have turned up!

But thanks to my loyal readers, these things are easily solved, as long as they are found in the e-book stage.  Fortunately, that is exactly what happened, the reader messaged me, and the situation was easily solved.

God bless the internet, because it has enabled me to live my dream as an author, and to have a dialogue with other authors from all over the world.  It is amazing how much easier learning the craft of writing is now that we can discuss the ups and downs of the ‘authoring biz’ with others who have had experiences that we can learn from.

And this is what I have learned in regard to editing and getting as clean a manuscript as is possible:  Electronic Submissions are Heck to Edit and I am not the only one who thinks so!  Even Rick Riordan  who is published by one of the largest publishing houses in the industry has struggled with this problem, as he noted in his personal blog on Oct-06-2011, ‘The Perils of Proofreading”

Just when you think you have it all nailed down, it comes un-nailed!

I now do it the old-fashioned way when I am editing for someone else.  I print the story out, one chapter at a time and use the red pencil and yellow high-lighter.  Then I pull up the ms on my word-processor and make the notes on the submission.  This is also a good thing to do with my own work, as well as reading it out loud. The process of reading it out loud helps you to phrase your work so that it flows smoothly, because if you stumble over it when reading it aloud, it is probably a bit clumsy in its phrasing.

Each edit finds these, and in the end we really do end up with a wonderful product, that the reader can enjoy. But at some point we have to have faith that we have found and corrected all of the flaws that once lurked in our precious manuscript, the beloved treasured child of our creative genius.

I feel smug and proud of my burnt offering.

Until my faithful readers find the thing that got missed.

Which will be eliminated immediately when it is noted!

And though I do not usually curse or use foul language,  I will be heard to say, loudly and with feeling, “Sassafras!!! And Dirty Words!!!”

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7 Comments

Filed under Battles, Books, Dragons, Fantasy, Humor, knights, Literature, mythology, Uncategorized, writer, writing

7 responses to “Sassafras and Dirty Words!!!

  1. jennymilch

    Yikes, I can’t even imagine doing it e-only–Connie, you must have a hawk’s eye to have gotten down to only two errors (the printed out way sounds a lot better). Good luck!!

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    • We have sweatted (is that a word? no, not really, lol) bullets over this, Jenny! Alison and Danielle went through it with a fine toothed comb, and we just did it again, once the missed errors were brought to our attention! Dani and Ali really worked hard on my little book, and I can’t thank them enough.

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  2. Jean

    I grew up hearing “Sassafras and mustard” from my mom and grandmother instead of swearing. I use it in front of my clients occasionally and it almost always gets a laugh!

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  3. Argh. I’m kind of the opposite way. I really despise printing stuff out and editing it by hand. It is technically easier to mark stuff, but it just feels like a horrible chore to me.

    I do tons better editing my stuff on my computer. I’m a computer person so it ends up being faster for me and more enjoyable.

    I really wish they made it easier to mark stuff with the popular word processing programs, though. It’s possible, but it ends up being confusing at times.

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  4. I love the swear word sassafras and I hate proofing but I hate mistakes in the final work even more so proof, proof, proof we do!

    Like

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