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December 16, 2015 / Heather

Why Proofreading Is Important

I’m absolutely horrible at planning things. I wish I was kidding about that and making this into some elaborate joke, but I’m not.

I have a writing group that I go to on Tuesday evenings and I love this group with so much passion that when we don’t meet it’s obvious there’s something missing from my week. We also have group chats away from meetings and the people are amazing.

Last week I brought the first chapter of The Fur Guard to read in group for feedback and editing.

My plan is always to have read and slightly edited the chapter(s) before group meets.

This pretty much never happens.

Last week I read the first chapter and I was very nervous. Not just because it was chapter 1 and hadn’t been edited, but because there was a new person who was at group that night. (I hadn’t been able to attend the previous meeting which was his first because I’d been sick.)

For those of you wondering, yes, I edit using a red pen for my papers.

My planning and plotting vary between using Evernote (because I’m in love with anything that can sync across everything I use) and using paper sheets.

My writing is all typed up (usually using Word, sometimes using Docs, and I’m tempted to try something via Evernote) unless we’re talking my poetry which gets handwritten in a notebook and then typed up so I have a backup copy.

My editing is on printed paper. I’ve tried to edit using the computer, but it just doesn’t work for me. I prefer the ability to circle things and make notes the way I do. Yes, there’s a comments feature on Word, but it’s not the same and I know there’s the same feature on Docs, but again it’s not the same.

I prefer editing using a colored pen (like red) and I try to edit a document using one pen. I’m weird like that. Oddly enough despite the number of red pens I have I can’t always find one when I need one so I’m carrying multiples with me now. Again. Not that I don’t have multiple pens with me anyway.

Which reminds me that I need to clean my purse. And the living room. And the kitchen. And basically everything. That’s a project to be done while dinner is cooking.

Why is this about proofreading? Because last week when I read chapter 1 I found enough mistakes that my flow was thrown off and it was uncomfortable for me. Though my night balanced because before group I had two small children on my lap who didn’t want to let me go. I knew their grandparents from a church I went to and the kids just sat on me and started talking. Their grandma got a laugh out of it.

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6 Comments

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  1. Bridgett Morigna / Dec 16 2015 6:57 PM

    It’s amazing what can be caught during proofreading!

    • Heather / Dec 17 2015 2:28 PM

      It really is! Sometimes it’s scary how many things you can find that need fixed though.

  2. WDLady / Dec 20 2015 6:12 AM

    When editing, the best way to find mistakes quickly is by reading your story out loud to yourself or having the computer do it for you. It helps me a lot and you can catch a lot of mistakes right off the bat or any misspellings. It’s also good to hear how the story flows and if you have any trouble spots, where you suddenly find yourself stumbling while reading.

    • Heather / Dec 21 2015 6:31 AM

      I like the reading out loud thing. Have liked it for a while. Haven’t really used it outside of writing group though. I read and read the story through unless it’s something I’m just throwing up real quick.

      • WDLady / Dec 21 2015 5:32 PM

        Me too! I love reading out loud to myself… but in front of other people would make me very nervous. ^^; It’s good that you have a writer’s group that’s friendly and supportive. I have yet to find a writer’s group like that anywhere near me.

      • Heather / Dec 21 2015 7:00 PM

        It took me ages to find one near me that I looked forward to attending. One of the people from this group was in the previous one and she told me about this new group I’ve been at. I’d like to see more virtual ones still.

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