Thursday, November 10, 2005

Proofreading Your Own Work

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.

3 comments:

Bernita said...

And it still happens...My ms has been revised a dozen times, four critiquers have seen it...and the other day I spotted "consecrated" written as "concentrated"...

Carol B. said...

I feel your pain. Been there, done that. CP's are great for catching the things we're blind to as authors.

Charlotte Dillon said...

Nice to know I'm not alone on this. (Smile)