Monday, January 16, 2012

Little Distractions by Linda S. Glaz


How on earth did I get involved in so many “other” activities than merely my writing? Words, typos, unwanted punctuation!!!

Writers fill their work with a lot of extraneous words for starters and, unfortunately, a great deal of typos. How do they make it to the publisher and past without correction?

A couple years ago when I did online reviewing, I downloaded a book that seemed to hold a lot of promise. Story was great, but layout? Not so great. The novel, while not only being filled with 60+ typos, was also full of just, that, never, always, even, and enough !!!!!! to no doubt set a record.

When I wrote the pubber and asked if they needed proofreaders, I was told they didn’t at the time-hmmmm-nonetheless, I was put on a list in case they needed anyone else. They eventually did and I became a first reader for them. Later, a final reader. Now, I realize I’m a bit anal about such things, but come on, 60+ typos in one manuscript?

What stands out to you when you read a book? Something that really scrapes your nerves faster than a cheese grater does fingers. Is it men who growl, snarl? Women who whimper and sigh? Once or twice, okay, but when that’s all they’re doing, when do they have time to live out their stories?

10 comments:

Sharon A. Lavy said...

I know that typos get left in when we do edits. For whatever reason.

But I cringe when I see them. And yes 60+ looks like the proofreader wasn't even trying.

Joanne Sher said...

For me, head hopping makes me BONKERS!

Davalyn Spencer said...

Growl. Had to laugh here - yes, I've heard it (used it), but it doesn't work as well in print!

The word that scratches my blackboard is "strode." Once or twice may be okay. Maybe. But I've read books that threw it at me from nearly every page. Irritating.

Terry Burns said...

Any word that is used often enough that we start to become aware of it is said to 'echo' and becomes a distraction. A lot of us have words that we use too often are desensitized to. In my case a favorite is the word 'that' and the word 'just.' I note that a lot of people overuse the word OK - which I become very aware of since I generally change it to okay as it should be written.

Diana said...

And of course, He and She. As often as the 'show don't tell' advise is handed out, it appears way to often in manuscripts. It takes some creativity to use them less and I think some authors do not want to 'work' so hard.

Andy Scheer said...

Another bit of "writerese" that jumps out at me is the word "munch." Why can't a writer have people simply eat something?

Colleen Scott said...

Once read a book where the heroine "bustled" everywhere. I started counting, but then gave up. Great post!

Timothy Fish said...

The one that gets me is when a character "fists his hand".

I was at my parents' house over the holidays and Mom was reading book in which the female character was fainting at some of the silliest things.

In one book I read recently, the female character kept getting locked into places. First it was a shed and then it was a barn and then it was some house out in the middle of no where. You would think she would learn eventually.

Andy Scheer said...

"Fists his hand"? Sounds like a bad translation. Would the same character smile his mouth?

Linda Glaz said...

Hahahahahaha you guys crack me up. I love some of these. (and have done some of these-errrghh!)