Goddamn it (and other less PG rated expletives), someone pointed out a few typos to me today in ‘Oblivious’. I was pretty certain the text was ok as well. Shit shit shit. It was only a relatively minor issue – in 9 instances throughout the book the full stop was after the speech quotation mark instead of before it (it was right 243 times). Even the proof-reader didn’t spot that one. But what a pain. I’ve already amended and uploaded the text for the ebook, now I need to do the same for the paperback.
Obviously, I have no problem with it being pointed out to me, I’m glad it was in fact. But there’s me poking fun at people who can’t construct a sentence and I go and let that slip through. What an idiot. I feel suitably humbled.
But this leads me onto something else I wanted to talk about. As I often do, I was poking around forums and writer’s blogs and ended up on Lexi Revellian’s blog. I haven’t read her book Remix yet, though I probably will because it’s been so successful I want to see for myself how good it is. However, something on her blog caught my attention. She uses an application called Autocrit. I’d never heard of it before so I checked it out. Essentially, it’s a piece of software that analyses your text based on a few simple rules and highlights potential problem areas.
My first reaction, rather predictably, was ‘how in the hell can an application tell you whether your writing is any good or not’. But, of course, it doesn’t do that at all. What it does is to just flag a few things that might not be immediately apparent to the naked eye and allows you to make a judgement call on them. It’s a tool, just as spell check and grammar check in Word are tools (the latter of which I often ignore as I tend to deliberately break grammar rules). For example, if there are an inordinate amount of adjectives or adverbs, it tells you how many. If there are re-occurances of a single word over and over, it tells you that as well. Lexi talks about it helping her smooth out ‘road bumps’ in her text, eliminating ‘word echo’ and ensuring that the reading experience is as seamless as possible. I have mixed feelings about the app but I’m seriously impressed with the time and dedication she obviously takes crafting her work. It’s probably no coincidence that her book has been enjoyed by so many people.
Damn those 9 full stops, damn them to hell. I’ll be more diligent next time around – ninety read throughs rather than a mere eighty five – I can tell you that for nothing… I think I need to take a leaf out of Lexi’s book (no pun intended).