Monday, August 21, 2017

Dorothy Bodoin, Guest Author

I needed a little humor to lighten my day, and my guest author, Dorothy Bodoin fulfilled my need. Read on, and think about some of the errors you’ve caught (hopefully before your book went to print). I’ve caught a few of my own after the book was published. Welcome, Dorothy!

On Mistakes
In spite of our best intentions, they creep into our writing, creating unintentional humor and confusion.  For example, whoever heard of a freshly baked (bathed) collie?  Or a pot roast dinner that miraculously turns into meatloaf with the turn of a page?  Or a shotgun that transforms into a rifle every other time it’s mentioned?
That last mistake was particularly embarrassing, especially when I received an e-mail from a gun expert.  When I wrote A Shadow on the Snow, I didn’t know much about guns.  I never owned one, never fired one.  But my Great Aunt Mary had a cabin up north, and above her fireplace hung a rifle.  Or was it a shotgun?  I thought shotgun was a synonym for rifle when I thought about it at all. 
Because I find it handy to arm my villains, I’ve made it my business to know the difference.
When I write, I revise each chapter of my book numerous times on a separate document before I add it to the complete manuscript, but sometimes mistakes occur and I never notice them.  The common explanation?  A writer knows what should be there, so she doesn’t see the mistake.
Sometimes I find them in time, but not always. I can’t believe how many there are.  Having a character in two places at the same time. Substituting one name for another.  I caught that one on my first reading of a manuscript.  Taking away one of my heroine’s dogs by typing the wrong number—implying that she wasn’t going to get a pancake treat—was more serious.  That’s the kind of mistake that upsets a dog lover.
For this and many other readers, a good editor is invaluable, and I’m fortunate to have one.
I’ve found errors in other authors’ writing, usually in e-book format.  They yank me right out of the story.  I go back and reread and wonder what I missed or if I misunderstood something.
I’m always grateful if a reader takes time to comment on a mistake they’ve found.  After the book is released, I can’t do anything about it.  All I can do is keep my mind from wandering and proofread more carefully in the future.
Have you ever noticed errors like typos or inconsistences in published work?  How much do they bother you, if at all?
Thank you, Dorothy! It helps to know I’m not the only one who sometimes has this problem. I hope you’ll be my guest again, soon.

 I love Dorothy's latest book cover

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  1. Dorothy and Marja,
    Thanks for this post. It's nice to know I'm in good company. :)
    We've all made our share of mistakes (hopefully, catching them before our book went to print) and the ability to laugh at ourselves is priceless.

  2. Thanks for reading, Pat. This is only the tip of the mistake iceberg. Last night I read a book in which Kitty turned to Katie and back to Kitty on the same page. We are all in good company.

  3. I usually catch those when I get the proof copy. Or in your case, it would be the gallies. It's amazing how much we miss, even with a good editor. I always give the manuscript a final read through before submitting, but somehow one or two ttypos always slip in. LOL!

  4. It has to be the computer gremlins at work. I have a first edit to submit now, but I'm going to read it again before I do.

  5. I read a book recently by a NYT bestselling author which confused the seasons more than once, even though the entire book took place over the span of a week. My first reaction is to assume I missed something, but that's not always the case. It happens to everyone at some point. Pat Gligor is right that it's key to be able to laugh at ourselves sometimes. It's also key to promise ourselves we'll do a better job next time.

    1. You're right, Amy. My best laughs come from my own mistakes.