A good novel can take years to write! I have heard that when an author has finished writing - it could take twice as long, time wise, to proofread and edit the book properly and that even then the final proof needs re-checking before it gets published. Has anyone experienced this? I have read a few books that were very badly edited, many self published, the authors declare themselves 'prolific writers' who can produced a good novel in less than three months. I am not convinced...
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For the final, final proof--read the text BACKWARDS. that way you can'r be lulled into inattention by the sheer magic of your beautiful prose....because you're looking at each word in isolation from all others.
Thank you Karen Banes & moonfroth (interesting name) - very useful information here and evidence of the number of times re-reads and re-writes are necessary...even for prolific writers...
I've also heard the 'read the text backwards' advice but found it impossible with a book length project (even a short one). Don't think I could do it with a novel. I have used it for proofing short pieces though and it does work!
Good advice or not, I could never read anything backward. My brain would short-circuit.
Reading backwards would be kind of interesting though - puts a whole new perspective on the novel being read....
Thanks for responding, Yes, hmmm, I am basically settling a disagreement between myself and a 'prolific' writer who can write a good story, has a problem with English Grammar & punctuation & thinks the whole process can complete within 3 mont
Joyce Carol Oates cranks out a LOT of really good literature, and unlike James Patterson, she actually writes all of hers. Unfortunately we don't all have her resources, and we can't possibly proofread and edit at the same pace as her team.
Must be so great to have that kind of back up.
My thoughts exactly afterall if something is worth doing it's worth doing well. Time spent improving it until you are finally satisfied that it is finished & ready to be published I reckon 2 years is a good framework, beta readers great idea. Th
I agree, I regularly find little typos in books that I have bought off the shelf in Waterstones, I find more mistakes in the self published books.
Oh, yeah, the self-published books are far worse, and that drives me absolutely crazy. It creates a very negative image that folks naturally tend to generalize to all self-published authors, and it makes it more difficult for us to sell our books.
I think people get put off by all the badly edited books out their at the moment - they'll end up sticking to the known published authors..
Yep, exactly right--and too bad. There are a lot of really good self-published books out there, but unfortunately the whole of self-publishing is tarnished by the bad ones.
I think it depends on the language abilities of the writer - bad punctuation, misused words, misspelt words, text out of context, repeated words, over used words, sentence structure, layout, etc., etc., etc.