Friday, February 10, 2012


Okay, so I totally made up that word. But it’s appropriate for today’s post, because I’m an habitual editor, and it seems as though I have a problem with catching missing conjunctions. To be honest, it isn’t limited to only conjunctions, but for such small, unobtrusive words, they seem to be the biggest problem.

For whatever reason, many of the conjunctions I think I type never actually show up on the page. And the weird thing is, when I read through my manuscript while proofing, I see them anyway. And so, apparently, does spell check, because it never picks up that a word is missing in my document.

I have no clues as to why this happens. This unintentional omission of certain words seems to plague many authors, because I run across it in published books quite often. And I’ve caught it in manuscripts I’m proofing for other writers. Perhaps it is somehow connected with that weird test that goes around Facebook every so often, where a ridiculously written block of gibberish text is presented for reading, and the eye is able to parse the entire block with ease, even though it contains not one single legitimate word.

Perhaps you don’t experience this problem, and if not, that’s great! Please share your secrets for avoiding it. I know that one extremely helpful tool is to arm yourself with reliable Beta readers. A Beta reader does not have your story ingrained in her/his head, so whatever is actually on the page is what she/he will see, so the gaping holes, although miniscule, where those missing words should be, will stand out on the page. Another trick would be to read your entire manuscript backwards, but I think you’ll agree that a Beta exchange would be a much better use of your time and efforts.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Remember, we are holding a book giveaway by author Dee Garretson. All you have to do to get into the drawing is leave a comment on her Wolf Storm interview below, and follow this blog. Completely painless, and your efforts could result in a signed copy of a thrilling action/adventure novel. The drawing will happen Sunday afternoon, so you don’t have much time left to get in on the action.


Amaleen Ison said...

I know just what you mean. I'm terrible for skimming over words that shouldn't be in my MS, and words that should. Beta's are invaluable. Also putting away your MS for a few weeks can help, too. But I'm too impatient for that! :-)

Cordelia Dinsmore said...

Thanks for coming by, Amaleen. I hear what you're saying about the impatience. I can't make myself stop editing as I write, which slows me down considerably.

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