Friday, January 28, 2011
Wearing two different shoes is not a mistake I've ever made, but I've made plenty of others. Especially in my writing. I read a published book recently that had a glaring mistake. Now, don't get me wrong... it was a fabulous book and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone, but at the risk of sounding critical, I'm not going to mention the title. In fact, my intentions are not to criticize at all. The opposite is true. I sympathize with the author because I see how easily this can happen. The mistake I'm talking about is a repeated line. I probably wouldn't have noticed the line if it had not brilliantly conveyed the emotion of the character in a unique way. It was such a fantastic line that it stood out to me, and when it was repeated later in the book, I remembered it right away. I have a theory on why this mistake went unnoticed by the author, the agent, and the editor. I've actually made the same mistake. During revisions, I move things around a lot. Many times, I've come across a line that I decide is needed elsewhere or would be more effective in a different spot. I move it, but... I forget to delete it from the original place. When I read through my manuscript over and over again, it doesn't stand out as a repeat because I've read my chapters so many times that every line sounds like a repeat. When an author turns in revised material to the publisher, she, her agent, and her editor have read the manuscript so many times that they all fail to catch the repeat. See how easily it can happen? I guess what I'm trying to say is that none of us can be too careful. Even if you've had several crit partners read your manuscript, it wouldn't be a bad idea to let a fresh eye read for you after you've made your final round of revisions. They just might catch something glaring before you submit to an agent. The same could be said for an author whose book is scheduled for an upcoming release. A fresh eye before approving the final copy might not be a bad idea. Noticed any glaring mistakes in your manuscript lately? Have a great weekend!