Saturday, May 28, 2016

Yes, and right now.

Boy was yesterday a bad day. I made a terrible discovery while trying to select a scene from my novel to rework. Somehow the changes I made to my manuscript last fall after a proofreader worked on it with me hadn't "taken." This resulted in "typos" where the original material still showed up even though I had deleted it, right next to anything I might have inserted. I figure there are about 100 such problems throughout the manuscript, the first on page 4. Here I was, thinking I had a super clean, proofread manuscript, from which I lifted samples to send with queries. Of course I didn't proof the samples, I'd proofed the entire manuscript! A reasonable assumption that I can lift a sample to accompany a query without proofreading IT?

These problems show up in many of the samples I sent along with queries. I remember finding a couple of these problems when I was reformatting samples to be embedded in emails to agents (shift from paragraph indents and double space to no indents, single spaced and a line space between paragraphs) but considered them anomalies. Tech glitch exceptions.

I estimate that 40 agents received samples with problems.

This is enough to drive me mad. I can't help but wonder how this has affected agent responses. In my business career, I was brutal with typos. A typo in your resume? Round file. I could make a case that this disaster is a "bad karma" consequence.

The cause turns out to be "user error." I've now figured out how to make the deletions go away permanently.

My question to you is, should I go back to those agents who received problem samples? Or, since I'm making substantial revisions, just wait until I have a new manuscript (after making double-extra-sure all deletions have been permanently eliminated)? If yes, then what would be the best way to pitch? I'm going to guess your answer:

For any agents that responded with any sort of comments (such as yourself), state that the novel has been substantially revised and present the new query.

For any agents that either declined or didn't respond at all, pitch as a "new" project.

(If I ever have to go back into the business world, I promise I will practice greater kindness toward job applicants with typos).

Yup, you and the pooch had a not-so-romantic interlude and neither of you intend to call each other again, right? RIGHT??

You are quite right to assume that agents will draw conclusions from what sounds like an unholy mess.

I've gotten mss with this kind of stuff from clients. I just send it back with "nope, not going to fix this; that's your job."  In fact, a client had JUST this sort of problem only a few weeks back: edits he thought were there, including spell check, did not show up in the ms he sent me.

While I assumed an editing glitch with a client, queriers get no such leeway.  It's a form rejection.


We all know stuff happens, even to nice undeserving writers. Thus you contact EVERY agent who got the unholy mess, and you say (much more briefly) what you told me here: due to some editing problems, the polished version did not get sent. You are requerying with the polished version.

JUST SEND THAT. Do not email to ask if you can, or if they want it. Don't give them a chance to say no.

Because we all understand the vagaries of editing software, most agents will at least give you a second glance. It may not be enough, but you will at least have tried, and not assumed no.

Your take away from all this: you proof EVERY SINGLE version.
I can hear some of you howling with laughter given my typos here on the blog but oh man, yes indeed, I do read those pitch letters and spell check before sending every single time.

And yes, I learned that the hard way just like you did.


E.M. Goldsmith said...

OP, I feel for you. I had a similar battle with incorporating editorial changes last go around. I ended up putting everything into a new document - not the best solution but Word drove me batty in the way it merged changes. I luckily did not send to so many agents, but what a headache.

One of the blog readers here recommended a software called Scrivener to help organize revisions. I am looking into that as I am doing a rewrite. I would love anything that helps me not send gobble de gook to agents.

It's bad enough when agents want pages in body of email and the email client shreds all formatting. That always worries me too. Even if there are no typos in text, I worry it looks like t don't know what I am doing. Well, nobody said this was going to be easy. Best of luck, OP. Keep at it.

Kitty said...

OMG, I was almost in tears for OP. Mercury must have been in retrograde at the time.

What does this mean: The cause turns out to be "user error." I've now figured out how to make the deletions go away permanently.

User error? Deletions that are not permanent?

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I'm off towork and in a hurray but remember, be cairful, profreed everything and cross you're fingers that the correct virsions make it wear their supposed two.

Have a nice day ?

Timothy Lowe said...

I am not at all a techie person but I have found Google docs a much better alternative until the MS is nearly ready. Any change you make on any device at any time is saved. You can save as a word doc periodically in case you feel you want to go back to old versions, and when it comes time to format the final draft you can convert it to word and use word's features so add the paginations, etc.

I was driving myself mad between versions - with Google docs it's all the same version, eliminating that problem.

Now, formatting a chunk of text in the body of an email, say, following a query - don't get me started there!

Anonymous said...

I totally feel your logic. It makes perfect sense to me, but oh man, if there was a mistake you didn't catch in the MS...

I've read too many books by authors I admire and from respected publishing companies that nevertheless still managed to have typos in them to take proofreading for granted in my own work. Especially since I know what I meant.

Brain: That totally says, "I might NOT have completely screwed myself over."
PC: Actually, it says, "I might have completely screwed myself over."
Brain: Those are exactly the same. It's fine.
Reader: Uhhhh...?

Lucie Witt said...

OP, we've all been there.

While a relatively small mistake I recently sent out a query and as soon as I hit send realize I hadn't pasted any of the sample pages after the query (as submission guidelines request). I resent a correction immediately after, and the agent was pretty nice about it. I think, like Janet said, most agents have been on the other end of that experience and will cut you some slack.

Best of luck!

CynthiaMc said...

Once upon a time I was an editorial assistant (loved that job - darn the company for getting bought out and eliminating our imprint). I can spot anyone else's errors at a hundred yards through a solid steel blindfold. My own are invisible until I hit 'Publish'.

This is Day 1 of a blissful string of 9 days off in a row from my day job (still have rehearsal most nights but that's fun). Hello, Vacation. It's been a while.

The Mark Twain Royal Nonesuch Humor Writing contest is open for submission until July 10 if any of you like writing humor.

Happy writing, y'all!

Anonymous said...

OP, I'm sending virtual cookies your way.

Kitty - 'user error' is a polite way to say 'I screwed it up myself'. (As opposed to 'computer error' or 'gremlins' or 'my cat was sitting on the keyboard' [true story; clearly she wishes to be a Literary Cat]. See also: PEBKAC - problem exists between keyboard and chair.) I'm guessing the OP made the deletions go away but forgot to save them, or only hid them rather than deleting them. (Sorry if this wasn't actually what you were questioning!)

Sherry Howard said...

When JR gave us a peek at her file folders I almost cried. And it's because of my fears that I'll do something like OP has done. I didn't realize the magnitude of work I'd have when I started writing seriously. I didn't think ahead, and I didn't think of it as I would've if I'd been doing it as official work. If there are any new writers among the woodland creatures: get thee organized from the beginning. Name your files in a way that let's you know what they are. You won't intuitively remember when you return to them a year later. Even if you only write ten minutes a day, respect your product, your output.

Donnaeve said...

Boy oh boy, hasn't this happened to all of us? Yes. The glaring typo that isn't glaring until... I envision a cold sweat on OP's brow when the discovery was made. Luckily, QOTKU had an answer up her fin, like Nike's "Just Do It," she's advised "Just Send That." I can hear the swoosh now as you pop off all those emails.

Here's a little consolation, and this is a bit long.

I discovered a change I'd incorporated into my final manuscript prior to my book sale ISN'T there. I discovered it when I was doing what are called "page proofs," the very last changes one can make before a book goes to print. Page proofs have already been formatted for print. Therefore, the only changes allowed are correcting any punctuation (if needed - as it's already been to a Copy Editor), correct any misspellings, and removing a word here and there, if needed. We are cautioned to avoid making any changes that will impact a paragraph layout - therefore adding in several sentences - um, no.

When I worked with the Copy Editor, I SHOULD have caught the missing sentences. But the way I worked through THAT part of editing was to go page by page and focus only on what the CE pointed out. I.e. I didn't read anything unless there was a change pointed out.

Luckily, it's the sort of thing only I would notice - and likely Caroline Upcher (the freelance editor who pointed it out years ago). How my final ms didn't make it, I can guess, but at this point, it doesn't matter. The current publishing editor, and anyone who has read the book so far? Didn't notice. But, I know. Still, que sera sera, right?

Scott G said...

I've said this before, but I think good agents are more interested in good writing. A good agent probably would reject a query because of typos, but if the writer is honest and re-queries with an explanation of what happened, and the writing is knock-your-socks-off fantastic, then the good writing will prevail.

Going completely off-topic, I have a confession to make. I'm relatively new to this idea of posting comments on blogs, and I've actually only posted comments on one blog (you figure it out). That said, I had no idea what "OP" meant. (Some posts actually make references to "Opie"). Being too embarrassed and proud to openly ask the question, I wracked my brain and kept yelling and pointing my finger at the screen trying to figure it out for weeks on end. No avail. And the "OP" references kept coming. I thought to myself, if only I had access to a huge database of knowledge at my fingertips where I could -

Geez, do I feel stupid.

At least now, Original Poster, I can empathize with you as much as the other posters on this blog who actually know how to use this confounded thing called the internet.

Susan Bonifant said...

Oh, wow, I feel that moment of OP's when the awful, cold truth was clear. I'm sure it didn't stop there, but compounded itself with one ramification after another.

But I so like Janet's suggestion to come clean and attempt a fix. Hard as it might be to think you can recover from a problem like this, it would be worse not to try and then start believing that maybe you could have.

Mark Thurber said...

I am unhealthily obsessive about these things, which does result in catching some problems, though of course others get through. I bcc each query to myself at a different email address and then glance through the query plus sample pages after I send it. This at least tells me after the fact if something went grossly wrong. Good luck, OP! I like Janet's advice, and I think it will all turn out okay, though I can imagine how awful this must have felt.

Donna- all my brain heard was, "Ooh, Donna's book! How much longer do I have to wait for Donna's book?"

BJ Muntain said...

Ah, technology.

You can't trust it. I know. I've taken programming. I used to be in IT. Anything that has a human at its origin is going to be imperfect. At the worst possible time.

Every round of queries, I do a quick read-through of the pages I'm sending. Just in case. Because I don't trust my past self any more than a trust a computer.

As for the pages included in the body of an e-mail: agents know that e-mail clients suck at formatting. They understand.

For the new folks: Janet has a short glossary on her blog in the top right corner, but here's a link.

Megan V said...

Writers are human and humans err. We all know it. We just have to forgive ourselves for it.

I came to the conclusion a long time ago that what I write isn't going to be perfect. It's not my job to be perfect. It's my job to take pride in whatever I write, have the humility to realize when I make a mistake, fix those mistakes, and then keep writing (and polishing!).

Opie, you found a mistake. It happens. Don't agonize over what's done. You found the problem(s) and you didn't say, "oh well, tra la la, what a shame." That's the important part. Now you can deal with the problems accordingly.

Donnaeve said...

Mark Thurber - even I'm saying it! LOL! It seems like years since April 1st 2015. Yes, I got the email on April Fool's day to say "we have an offer on DIXIE DUPREE." That's a story in of itself.

Lennon Faris said...

Oof, this makes my skin crawl. All that hard work, and they can't see it. I've been there before and I am also a paranoid typo person. Glad there is a way to fix things! or at least attempt.

CynthiaMc said...

Donna - my brother texted me April 1 to say he was retiring. I thought it was an April Fool's joke. It wasn't, but it took him til now to convince me.

The Sleepy One said...

EM mentioned Scrivener. I love that program so much. It's functionality is really helpful when it comes to organizing long documents with multiple chapters, with scenes inside chapters.

Once you're done in Scrivener, you can compile your ms to several formats, including Word. I find it helpful to proofread in scrivener and then in word, as I find a different errors.

Kitty said...

tsrosenberg, thank you :~)

abnormalalien (Jamie A. Elias) said...

Hehe, newbies unite. I mentioned yesterday, I recently figured out what Norman meant. Sometimes, I wonder when we'll have a full grasp of the blog language despite our hopefully excellent grasp of "normal" English.

Elissa M said...

I'm putting in my vote for Scrivener as well. I've only recently started using it, but the functionality is mind-boggling. It's easy to start using right away, but every day I discover a new, awesome feature. Alas, it doesn't stop typos from occurring.

OP, try not to dwell on how bad things went. Follow Janet's advice and then move on, lesson learned. (Easier said than done, I know.)

DeadSpiderEye said...

I do recall way back, that writers and editors used to submit copy in wp form, as if they'd typed it on a manual. It was a problem that caused a lot of hair pulling and sessions where culprits had the principles of hierarchical formatting explained to them very slowly, with the aid of diagrams drawn in Chinagraph on the table top. I thought that was all behind us, consigned to the limbo where golf balls and single use tape reside. So I'm wondering, where does this problem with formatting attachments come from, it takes about a minute and half, two if you've got a hangover.

Panda in Chief said...

Technology has rarely been my friend.
My sympathies, OP.

Since I entered the computer age, I have learned the hard way not to be too clever with my file names, and to organize into folders more logically. My data base for paintings is on...4"x6" cards. Yep that's right. I think about making a computer data base, but all that does is make me want to go to bed with blankets over my head.'s time for breakfast and more coffee.

Colin Smith said...

Thank you, Janet, for taking some (or, in fact, a lot) of the fear out of querying. And honestly, I have to blame some of your colleagues in the past for some of the fear writers have. The rest is us being woodland creatures. I think you know what I mean, though. Some agents make their submission guidelines so specific, and so often berate writers for typos, etc., it seems the path to Form Rejection is wide and easy. Much easier than the narrow gate that leads to, "Hmmm, I think I'll read the entire query!" This is why there's a perception of Literary Agents as "Gatekeepers" with all the negative connotations that might imply.

Fact is, as Janet, and others have said, agents are human, and are really looking for the Next Big Thing. A lot of their berating is an attempt to separate the people who really want to give this their best shot, and those who are just wasting the agent's time.

So, long vomment short, what Janet said. Own your mistakes, come clean, and try again. If you're not a jerk, and show respect and manners, the better agents won't cry foul.

Colin Smith said...

Janet: Do you go through submissions from earliest to latest? Assuming that's what you do, suppose you get sent a ms, and a week later the writer re-sends that manuscript because, as in Opie's case, the writer realized he sent you an old version. Will you read the first, and then the second, or will you check your inbox for a later version before you read, and then just read the latest and greatest? If you read both, will you re-read the whole second ms, or will you look for things that have changed? Would you prefer the author tell you up-front what's changed in case it's a major plot point that caused you to reject the original version?

Thanks!! :)

Colin Smith said...

New Commenters

Please check the top right of the blog, especially the Blog Glossary. I think BJ already pointed this out, but it bears repeating. This is an organic community of writers, so, yes, we play with language an invent terms. Or steal other people's words and make them our own. Like I said, we're writers. ;) That Glossary is an attempt to make it easy for you to feel included. We welcome you with open arms, and don't want you to think because you don't know what a NORMAN is, you're not in the "in" crowd. We all know what it's like to be a social pariah. Like I said, we're writers. The last thing we want is to make you feel anything less than one of the gang. A fellow woodland creature. One of Shark's chums. :)

To that same end, if you're a regular visitor and you want to make your blog/Twitter/Other Social Media presence known to everyone else, email me your deets and I'll gladly add you to the List of blog readers and their blogs. My email address is in my Blogger profile.

BTW, "NORMAN" isn't in the Glossary yet (*ahem*), so let me 'splain. No, too long. I sum up. it's a sort-of acronym for "No Response MeANs No." This is the way many agents, unfortunately, deal with queries. If they're interested, they'll be in touch. If not, you won't hear from them. The consensus here at the The Reef (shared even by our Queen), is that this is disrespectful toward writers. It doesn't take long to send a form rejection, and a quick "No thanks" puts the writer out of his or her anguish, instead of leaving them in anxious expectation for months. One day, no agent will want to be a NORMAN... except those agents whose name is actually Norman. Even then, they might consider a name change. Rumor has it, Barbara Poelle used to be called Norman Poelle. Then she changed her name and just look how her career has taken off! ;)

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Oh man, this is just tough - I feel for you, OP. I have to wonder if you made the same mistake I've made hundreds of times at work with Word's Track Changes feature. I hate that thing. I love it, but I also hate it.

Like the others here, I can only imagine that moment of realization. This is the second story I've heard about that terrible moment of "What have I done!" in two days. Luckily, this one is easier to fix than the first - which resulted in several people getting cancer unnecessarily for the laziest, most terrible reason. So while it may feel like your mistake is the worst situation ever, this is something you can take steps to fix. :) Thanks Janet for the advice, because this is something I could TOTALLY see myself doing.

Craig said...

Yes Word has had it's way with me many times. I fell back to 2003 a couple of years ago because it didn't have as many problems as the other models but it still isn't perfect.

The things that drive me nuts are when it draws a line somewhere that can't be deleted or when it copies two paragraphs from the end of one page onto the top of another and you can delete both or neither.

Today though I have bigger problems. I hit the big 6-OHHH today. I was determined not to face it out of shape so I am sore in way too many places.

Colin Smith said...

Happy birthday, Craig!! :D

Joseph Snoe said...

I learned the hard way, too, when a last second change to the manuscript went awry (and unnoticed by me until later).

Joseph Snoe said...


Why oh why does 'not' disappear from so many sentences? I've seen it my work, in other professors' works and in students' works.

oh well: To be or to be is the question.

CynthiaMc said...

Happy birthday!

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Ouch, Opie, I can imagine the sick realization that must have been. I guess it can't be too unusual, though, so I'm glad the agent-types are perhaps inclined to be understanding about this!

My latest 'oops' is I left the "s" off the end of the title of a recently submitted story. We'll see how that goes!

Happy birthday, Craig!

John Davis Frain said...

You appear to be in fine company, so take solace in that. You're walking where I've journeyed numerous times, which generally gives one no solace, so thank goodness for others beating the same path.

I was fretting Janet's answer here, unsure which direction she'd recommend, so I was pleased to read it.

Craig, assuming Donnaeve was right the other day (a safe assumption as far as I've encountered thus far), happy 40th! But if you think those sore spots are gonna feel better tomorrow, I'm not gonna be the one to break the bad news about what it feels like to turn 40 and 1/365. Good thing you'll have an extra day to recover before work.

Joe, To be or to be is a crack-me-up question. Not! (Just kidding, yes it really was funny.)

Where There's A Quill said...

Oh OP, I have been cringing at my monitor in sympathy for you. If it helps, I'm sure many of us have typo horror stories. My own involves a red level brain glitch and a spade/spayed disaster. I felt so betrayed; words are supposed to be on our side, aren't they? Damn those two-faced homonyms.

At least yule have a grate story two tell when yore eventually published. Ewe can get threw this!

Julie Weathers said...


Happy birthday!

I'm not ready for the Norman thing. I still am not ready for Opie. It feels like we are developing our own secret language for cool kids and no offense is intended. But then I am one who refuses to "U wnt 2 go 2 the mall ltr & eat" So this is my personal little foible.

I don't particularly care for the no response, but I understand why some agents do it. For some, it goes beyond time. They simply got tired of frustrated authors respond back to a polite reject with a "Oh yeah? Well screw you and the broom you rode in on. You're going to regret it when I'm on the NYT best seller list."

Dealing with every situation is part of being a professional on our part. Writing a great book is only the beginning of the journey and oh what an adventure it will be.

Anyway, I've done the very same thing the questioner has done, though not to as great an extent, and it was mortifying.

I save each day's work as a new file with that date. Today's work is Rain Crow Together (denoting I have all the chapters together) 5-28-2016. I do a save as before I start adding to or editing the file so the previous file is intact.

I'm not sure this is efficient, but if I decide I like the way something was previously, I have it saved.

I save chunks under their own heading until I find where they fit in the puzzle. I'll find something better someday.

Being a historical, I also keep a running timeline. This day in history this was going on. These historical figures who are involved were here. This weather was happening. My people were here.

Colin Smith said...

Julie: I see "NORMAN" and "Opie" as just fun words, and not intended to exclude people from the conversation, or to designate the "cool kids" from anyone else. Hence the Glossary. But if you think about it, language has a long history of dividing people. And to some extent, it's unavoidable. If you don't know English, you are immediately exempt from reading this blog. Should Janet provide a translation into every language? I'm not going to suggest that! Yes, there's Google Translate... which is okay, but not at all perfect. And then there are the terms we use that are specific to where we live, whether the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, NZ, or wherever. And our vocabulary may be further affected by where in those countries we live. Our education will also affect our word choices.

I think what we do here is as much as anyone can do: If it's a term coined and used in these comments (NORMAN, Carkoon, Opie, etc.), put it in the Glossary. Otherwise, Google. :)

Dena Pawling said...

"Here I was, thinking I had a squeaky clean, proofread manuscript, from which I lifted samples to send with queries."

Maybe I'm confused because I've spent all day sitting at a Boy Scout archery range, watching my kids and outlining my new upper MG or younger YA (haven't decided yet) manuscript, but I thought you only sent the FIRST pages with a query, not samples from throughout the manuscript.

But I get it. Why is it the typos don't reveal themselves until AFTER you hit send?

I like Janet's answer. Short, sweet, and to the point. If the agent is human and forgiving, you'll get another glance. If not, you won't, but maybe you didn't want that agent anyway.

Going forward, never assume a polished copy. But I guess you learned that the hard way. Thanks for sharing your experience so we can all learn. And good luck with round two.

Julie Weathers said...


I am not suggesting the blog be translated into every language. I think that's a stretch to even think that crossed my mind. Yes, I know I'm odd man out because we enjoy coming up with our fun Reider language and every new reader ought to realize there's a glossary they can look up to find definitions.

Colin Smith said...

Julie: I know--and I wasn't trying to start an argument with you (heaven forbid!). You raised a point, however, that I thought was interesting with regard to how language often divides, and there's not always a lot we can do to prevent that. :)

Mark N said...

Hey, this is OP, just wanted to thank Janet and all of you for your moral support. Yes, it was my unfamiliarity with the track changes features in Word that caused the problem. I've now been educated. I now have what I believe is a "clean" manuscript, subject to a complete and careful read. Memorial Day will be dedicated to figuring out who got what that needs to be re-sent. To the question about samples, over time I collected about 40 versions of samples ranging from "first 3 pages" to "first 50," in Word, PDF, and/or formatted to be embedded in the email. Every agent wants something different.

(Note re samples: I personally reformat for embedding, rather than just copy from the manuscript into the email. I create a new file for that sample size, copy the sample into it from the manuscript, then reformat in single space, line between paragraphs, and eliminate paragraph indents. Once that's saved, I copy from that into the email, being sure to "Paste and Match Style." Doing this matches the sample to the format of the query part of the email and avoids weird stuff that can happen when someone opens your email.

Colin Smith said...

Mark N: Hey there, Opie! I do the same for samples, partly because single space, no indents, with line spaces between paras looks much better and takes up less space in an email. Also, you never know what the agent's email app might do to those indents and spacings. :)

Thanks for your question. All the best to you!

Stephanie said...

My biggest issue has been "track changes" in word and turning off comments. My former agent's comments are technically off and gone, however, when I copy the first ten pages to imbed in email for new queries, I'll get little symbols which show there was a comment. I have Scrivener, but have yet to figure out how to use it. Might be time for a tutorial.

Donnaeve said...

Hey Stephanie, I know what you mean about those little symbols. Not sure of which version of Word you're using...but I notice in my version there's a "No Markup." It keeps the changes, yet takes away anything that shows what I've done. Have you tried that?

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I installed Scrivener this morning. OMG- this is such a help. I imagine for historical fiction and epic fantasy writers, it is beyond awesome. What a wonderful tool. To further avoid OP's snaffoo, I think whoever suggested transforming documents in Scrivener to word and then proofreading has a very good idea. It always helps to proof your work in a new format. Anyhow, thank you Reef for recommendation of this tool. It beats the living crap out of Word.

Julie Weathers said...


I know, and I'm sorry. I'm one of those fuddy duddies who deplores the idea of having to cipher comments to figure out what people are talking about. It's fun when you're ten and have a secret society. When you're sixty and crotchety, not so much.

It's bad enough that sometimes y'all keep my poor addled brain whirling with all the ideas you float. Now I'm convinced I need to learn to use Scrivener.

Then there's the flash fictions, which often terrify me. I'm like this poor kitty watching a horror movie.

Julie Weathers said...



Yes, track changes is the debil. I think one thing people should always do is send email yourself the manuscript or sample pages and email a friend and ask them to take a look at it. Not that you want a friend to read the entire manuscript, but they can quickly see if track changes is still showing up.

Sometimes you think it's gone and it looks like it is on your copy, but it isn't. Plus some wonky formatting sometimes shows up.

Good luck.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Julie, the initial shock of moving your manuscript to Scrivener can be a bit daunting. But it sure does keep everything organized and color coated. It might be easier to start with a new project if your research and text for current projects is close to completion and you are satisfied with your organizational system. You seem to have such a great wealth of knowledge at your finger tips as it is. And I can't wait to read your stuff so don't do anything that slows you down too much.

I will have to see how it goes. Scrivener seems easier to write in than Word thus far, but I am only hours and 6145 words into it. :)

Claudette Hoffmann said...

It’s Sunday and we’re still talking typos!

OP – Tons of company here. Let’s see, mine include ‘best/worst’ writing, office work (aaugh!), personal on social media, and galaxies beyond. May add ‘apologies for inadvertent copy edit errors’ to my signature.

Thanks to your question there’s now a default fix and that through the graces of Janet to whom we offer up appreciations.

Donnaeve- thanks for “No Markup” heads up! Major good luck w/ book!!!

Re: Scrivener– Loaded its trial package awhile back, but looking for better tutorial, especially for transferring works-in progress.

Julie Weathers said...


Rain Crow is hoovering around 75,000 words with some chunks that haven't found a home yet. It will top out around 150,000-160,000 and then lean out to around 120,000 when I cut the fat.

I may wait for a new project to try it out as I have fairly steady momentum going on RC again. The battle scenes will slow me down as the details have to be just right.

Either way, I'm looking forward to trying Scrivener.

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

Is May over yet? Please tell me May is over. May is sooo busy, I haven't been able to take a breath.

Anyhoo, Track Changes is one of those powerful things that can be used for good or evil. My editors use TC.

As for tyops and other ms errors... It's like they breed. I'm currently going through my second 'final' galley for my next book and I'm *still* finding errors.

WHY?!? Haven't I been through this book enough?

Though as I looked through my growing list of errata, I noticed each time it was for a different layer. Last one was mostly SPAG issues. This time, it looks like continuity errors that my eyes and brain, focused on SPAG last time, would have glanced over. I would not be surprised to find my picture pinned to my editor's dart board.

When I indie published Her Endearing Young Charms, I kept finding little errors, both in SPAG and layout as I went through the proofs. I'd think I'd caught them all. Then the next day I'd go through it one more time Just To Be Sure.

More errors.

Please help me spread the rumour throughout the reading community that if you find a single typo in a published book, we authors consider it good luck.

After all, we can't catch 'em all.

As for writing software, I'm a yWriter gal. Similar to Scrivener, but not so many bells and whistles. Still, lightyears ahead of Word when it comes to organisation.

Mark N said...

Update from OP aka Mark N: Went through all my queries and found 18 with problems. Fewer than I thought, but still…. Thanks again for all the support, and I'll also put in a plug for Scrivener.