I entered a writing contest a while back. It was a free contest held by a large on-line RWA chapter I belong to. (If it hadn’t been free with entry sent by e-mail, I probably wouldn’t have worried with it because of when the deadline date was and the things that were going on.) I did enter though, and in a rush, the day after I was finally able to move back home after Katrina, but still, I proofread the pages more than once before I hit send. What I didn’t do was have the time to ask anyone else to read over them for me, which would have been a really good thing. (Smile)
I got my results back this week. Gosh, the stuff I missed that the judges found! I will admit my nerves were a little frayed when I was getting those pages ready to send, and I only had a few hours to do it in, but still, I made some big slips that I should have spotted. Like using interred when I meant entered, on for own, ties for tires, and periods in a couple of places where there should have been question marks.
Those are some pretty big slips to over look in a manuscript that’s supposed to show your professionalism. Each mistake was something I knew better than to do and should have caught, but for some reason I didn't see them at all. I try to be careful even with blog entries and e-mail, but I’m not much on proofing them, but those aren’t going out to a contest, an agent, or an editor. I’ve always considered myself really careful when proofreading manuscripts that I’m getting ready to send anywhere.
The big mistakes I over looked just proved to me again how important critiques are, even if it’s just a read through done by a friend who isn’t a writer.