Sunday, August 9, 2015
There was one story I wrote which passed through about five readers. Each made comments on it. I wrote and rewrote and edited that beast many times. I sold it to a quality market, where it then underwent further edits with an experienced editor.
So you can understand how surprised I was to open my contributor's copy only to find a typo on the first page of my story. I hadn't even read the published story yet. The mistake just leaped out from the page at me.
I checked the piece I had submitted. I checked the final version before publication. I checked the very first draft. And the typo was in all versions. No one, including myself, had picked it up.
Typos will beat the best of us, but there's no excuse for not using a spellchecker.
I was recently trawling around the internet, checking out writing websites and author's pages, and I was surprised to see some dreadful writing and really obvious mistakes on some of these pages. Not all these authors are known. Many are 'emerging' writers, by whichever definition you choose. Some I know of, although none personally.
It seems to me though that it's hard enough to get published at pro-levels without making it more difficult for yourself. The story might be superb, but editors aren't going to get that far if the page is unreadable. Not everyone can punctuate properly, but at least check your spelling. Oh, and for that one writer on that one blog in particular who complains they can't sell a story? You should try commas and other punctuation marks sometimes.