Thursday, August 19, 2010

Proof-reading and editing

Not that I do a lot of that in my entries, I do try at least to flick through and I hope I spot most of the really big mistakes. However a recent activity has led me to a greater appreciation of these unsung heroes of the literary world.

In short I'm reading a self-published book as a favour to someone. That means no editor and no really proof-checking. In the latter respect it's not bad word processing software being what it is cuts a lot of the obvious stuff from the picture, but that can't cope with contextual or logic switches where Person X says "That answers your question" regarding a situation brought up by Person Y when Person X was not present, it's surprising how that can crop up even in professionally published tomes. So far this has been fine in that respect.

My greatest appreciation goes to the editors. Until you read an un-edited book it's difficult to appreciate the finished article; some may sneer at the poor text of a certain twinkly haemophile set of novels, but I'm betting it was much worse before it got to that point.

You can get redundancies, oo look's and jarring sequence breaks. I mean this book isn't bad so far (in fact it's rather good), but I can see where it needs tidying.

I can't say much about the book in question other than it's fictional, written by a local author, and set in this locality; and I currently hold book number 2 in a set of 2. Real conversation -
"Be careful with it"
pause "It's a book. It's a book I don't own"
pause "Yeah I didn't need to say that did I"