Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Pain is in the Proof

I’ve spent the past week reading my third Hank Worth novel. Again. By this point, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve gone through it. This time is the easiest, and also the most painful. It’s the page proofs. That means it’s laid out on the page exactly as it will appear. 

So I’m reading only for typos. Easy. No heavy lifting with writing or editing. That’s right, almost no editing is allowed. So when I realize that I’ve used the word “spot” three times in one paragraph (how did I miss that?), I have to leave it alone. If I try to change it, it could screw up the line, which could screw up the paragraph, which could screw up the page, which is beautifully laid out. So, I can’t fix things I’m seeing for the first time—even though I’ve read the darn thing so often that my eyes are crossing.
This is extremely difficult to do. Of course I want to change things, to make that last tiny tweak to something before it goes off to the printer. It pains me to leave it alone. The only thing that has made it bearable is finding actual typos. Something to change! Something to save readers from seeing. They’ll still see too many “spots,” but at least they won’t see “fantastic” spelled wrong. 
Play find the typo!

No comments: