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How to eliminate those pesky errors


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#1 Erevos

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 08:50 AM

This has been nagging at me for months now.

 

I queried 5 agents almost two months ago, but then I noticed some shocking mistakes, gave myself an epic facepalm, and went back to editing my first chapter. Ofcourse, after that was done, (HA! I wish) I queried 5 more.

 

Today I noticed this in my first chapter: "..as soon as he finished his welcoming."  Yes....oh yes, the word "speech" is missing. I'm also going to mention that I found a "the" and an "at" missing.

 

There are many articles saying how hard it is to locate errors in your own writing, since your brain knows exactly what you meant to write, but...how do you find them?

Some say changing the font, color or even size helps. Others say print the first chapter.

 

Any helpful tips?

 

Thank you!!


My Query http://agentquerycon...a-high-fantasy/ Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#2 lnloft

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 03:21 PM

Well, there's the obvious of running the spell/grammar check tool. It's imperfect, and more often than not I'm ignoring its suggestions, but it can help catch a few. One of the things that I'm doing right now is going through my manuscript and reading it out loud. I'm mostly doing this to check for flow, but it has also helped me catch a few mistakes. Also, a lot of word processors now have a speech tool, where it can read your writing out loud (usually achieved by highlighting a piece of writing and then right-clicking). I've found this at times to be helpful as well, because when people read, the mind automatically fills in missing words, so you don't even notice, but the speech tool is literally reading what is right on the page, so if you have it read your stuff out loud and then just listen, that'll help you catch mistakes like missing words and wrong words. It's very dry, though, so not the most fun way to go through your book.

 

The other thing I will say is that agents understand that mistakes do happen. This is why there are professional editors. They do expect your manuscript to be as polished as possible, but once in a grand while having a typo isn't going to make or break your manuscript. The issue is when there are constant mistakes littered throughout the manuscript, and the agent figures that your story just isn't worth the effort of cleaning all of that up. So obviously do your best to have everything in shape, but don't panic that one or two might slip through. I've had pieces I've been working on for years with maybe a dozen people who have read them and I still find mistakes when going through. Just do your best with it.


If you found my feedback useful, I'd appreciate yours: Ouroboros


#3 Anna L. Walls

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 04:41 AM

The best thing I've found is to have your computer read your text. Your ear can hear all those pesky far better if you're not the one doing the reading. For my mac I had to assign a key to the command. I don't remember how I had my PC doing it, but that's where I first used it. I suppose you might be able to load the document onto a kindle and have that read it while you follow along on the original, but I've never tried that, so I don't know if that works. Good luck.


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Hope to see you there


#4 Monsmord

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 07:09 AM

I'll second that.  Reading it aloud, even doing it yourself, will catch dropped/extra words.

 

It also helps me to put the manuscript away for a while and come back to it with slightly fresher eyes.  This also gives me a little perspective on the work overall.



#5 Erevos

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 08:34 AM

Thank you for your answers!

 

Hopefully your tips will help me clear my ms a bit, cause usually I start hunting for mistakes and 3 minutes later I find myself fixing the plot, changing the dialogue a bit etc...


My Query http://agentquerycon...a-high-fantasy/ Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.





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