I remember reading about an artist—it might have been Degas—who wouldn’t let his dealer take away his paintings because he felt they weren’t finished. Not that my efforts can be compared to great artists, but—I get it.
Now that I’m editing and proofreading Guided By Magic, Book II of the Karakesh Chronicles, I keep finding bits that need changing. Either there are two of the same words too close together, or the object mentioned wouldn’t be used in that way, at that (mythical) time. Paper, for example. Old Erta, the metal crafter, would not have wrapped beeswax in paper, as paper was valuable and too scarce to use as wrapping.
And then there’s the voice of the main character, Miela. There are certain words, like “innumerable,” that she wouldn’t have used. So those must be replaced.
Some mistakes are so obvious that they are laughable, such as when the illustration shows a baby carriage, but the text refers to a baby basket.
As I go along, reading the story again—and again—I worry. What are we missing? It would be dreadful if the reader slams the book shut in disgust, because of a foolish, embarrassing error. I’ll admit that I’ve done that myself, especially if the grammar and mechanics are faulty. “What was the author thinking?” I ask myself. “Did the editor even read this?”
If you readers have similar reactions to these typos and errors, please weigh in with a comment. I’d like to know that I’m not alone!