Publishing the true stories of fascinating Prairie People and Unsung Heroes

Welcome to the blog of Deana Driver of DriverWorks Ink, a book publishing company based in Saskatchewan, Canada.
We publish stories of inspiring, fascinating Prairie people and unsung Canadian heroes - written by
Prairie authors including Deana Driver. We also assist authors in self-publishing their work. Visit our website and buy our books at driverworks.ca.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Authors - Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

I love working with authors who care about their written work. I care deeply about the words I write and the words we publish, so I would not be happy working with someone who was not passionate about the words they place together.

Lately, I've been noticing a number of authors and would-be authors who are prone to apologize.

"There are still errors," some will say about their manuscript, with a deep sigh as if they've committed a crime.

"I think I caught all the typos, but I'm not sure," others will tell me, with apologetic puppy-dog eyes.

As an author who is also an editor and publisher, I have a unique perspective on feeling the angst from all sides of this process called book publishing. While I spend countless hours editing, rewriting and touching up my own manuscripts before editors and proofreaders see them, I also know what it feels like to have someone else point out a mistake in my writing.

So to would-be authors everywhere, please remember these words:
                      Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

When you give your manuscript to an editor, acknowledge to yourself that:
  • There will probably be typos. 
  • There will probably be words missing from sentences. 
  • There will probably be words used incorrectly in a sentence.
  • There may be incorrect punctuation marks.
  • There may even be a section of the story that belongs in a different spot in the manuscript.
Why does this happen?

Because we're human. And because writing and publishing are subjective exercises in which individual expression and experience are paramount.

Writers' brains often work faster than their fingers do when typing, and we sometimes miss typing some words that we know ought to be in a sentence. One of our former newspaper colleagues is known to emit the ' 'nt ' on words - which is a serious error when you're telling readers about another person's position on a topic. 'The leader is going to run for political office again' is significantly different from 'The leader isn't going to run for political office again'.

Also, when we proofread our work, our brains can sometimes read words into sentences that actually don't exist in the written document. We think they're there because we know we wanted them to be there, but we accidentally forgot to type them into the document.

Also, computers incorrectly auto-correct words and we humans don't always catch those errors when reading a long document for content versus reading it for spelling. 

As for incorrect usage, punctuation and placement of pieces within the story - those are some of the sticky points that crop up between a writer and an editor. While there are set rules for sentence structure and punctuation, editors (and publishing houses) differ in their knowledge levels and writing style preferences.

So please give yourself a break. Accept that you are not perfect ... and neither is anyone else.

Find a good editor. Do your best to work together to make the document or book as good as you both can.

Then leave it to the reader and move on to your next project.

That's right. Move on.

We are creators. We must create. Always.

So stop stewing and go make more stew... word-wise, I mean.

Have a great rest of the day!






1 comment:

  1. This is really great advice! And really, you can apply it to so many areas of life.

    ReplyDelete