Proofing Your Writing

Proofing Your Writing

You and I both know you can’t be the only editor of your writing. You need to have it vetted by multiple people to better understand how the plot flows, grammar, spelling mistakes, and the general feel of the story.

Not only do you have to put it on others to get feedback, both good and bad, but you must also read and re-read your writing a half-dozen times (at least) before you hand it off to an editor. You want it to tell the story to the best of your abilities so those tasked with reviewing your work have a true representation of your voice.

Recently I ordered a proof copy from my publisher so I could attack the novel from its printed representation. I like to read it in its printed form at least once before I move it on. I also like to see how the cover, spine, and back cover turned out. This is my final edit process before it goes beyond my editing capabilities. Depending on the requirements, I will often elaborate on a scene (or chop it down or add another) while running my initial edits.  By the time I’ve hit my sixth reading, the story is fully fleshed out and I’m happy with it.

I’m not the type who enjoys repetitive work, but I appreciate the necessity of making your novel the very best it can be. And who doesn’t want their work to show perfectly? Your writing is an extension of yourself, and, ultimately, those who helped you arrive at your finished product.

Why do I bring up the editing process? I feel it’s an important step to highlight when writing a book, or in any writing really. It’s a step that should be peer-reviewed and given multiple thumbs up before hitting the shelves and, inevitably, your readers.

I’ve learned this rule the hard way and though some readers think British/Canadian writing is full of typos (American readers), occasionally I did have some poor grammar in my early works. Because so many of my readers tend to be in the U.S. I have written my latest novel in U.S. English. I’m interested to see how that goes over. The book is set in the U.S. city of Detroit as well and is another reason I’ve opted for this method.

I’ll let you know when it’s available for purchase.