Proofreading is a msut

PWelcome back to the blog today. For the A to Z Challenge I’ve got Joanne Guidoccio talking about proofreading.

Here’s Joanne.

Mark Twain said it best: “You think you are reading proof, whereas you are merely reading your own mind; your statement of the thing is full of holes and vacancies but you don’t know it, because you are filling them from your mind as you go along.”

It is so tempting to skim that manuscript and send it off to agents and editors. Especially if you have devoted months—maybe even years—to its completion. Instead, pause and consider the following tips:

• Set the manuscript aside for several days. If possible, wait until you fall out of love with your work. Only then can you be objective and approach it with fresh eyes.

• Perform a spelling and grammar check using the appropriate feature on your word processing program. Be aware that your spell checker can tell you only if a word exists, not if it’s the right word. If you are uncertain, refer to a dictionary.

• Use the Search and Replace function to find and eliminate repetitive words and extra spaces. To cut back on the number of adverbs, search for “ly” and replace with “LY.” As you approach each highlighted section, decide whether to keep the adverb, eliminate it, or replace it with an appropriate action tag.

• Double-check all facts, figures and proper names. This is important if you write nonfiction or historical fiction.

• Print out your text and review it line by line. Use a ruler or a blank sheet of paper to keep your focus on one line at a time.

• Read your text aloud. This will help catch missing prepositions, repetition, run on sentences, and awkward phrasing.

• Read your text backward, from right to left, starting with the last word. While I have never used this particular tip, several English teachers recommend this method for anyone struggling with spelling.

• Ask a friend or fellow author to proofread your text. And offer to return the favor.

Any other tips to share…

About Joanne

Guidoccio 001In high school, Joanne dabbled in poetry, but it would be over three decades before she entertained the idea of writing as a career. She listened to her practical Italian side and earned degrees in mathematics and education. She experienced many fulfilling moments as she watched her students develop an appreciation (and sometimes, love) of mathematics. Later, she obtained a post-graduate diploma as a career development practitioner and put that skill set to use in the co-operative education classroom. She welcomed this opportunity to help her students experience personal growth and acquire career direction through their placements.

In 2008, she took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.









Cindy here again.

Thanks for the great post, Joanne. Loved the tips. Proofreading is very important and I get as many people to read my stuff as possible. I always miss stuff.

Keep writing.

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