Monday, February 23, 2015

Adventures in Proofing

I keep a mental list of the most interesting / funny / difficult-to-spot typos found during the very final round of proofs. Remember, this is after many, many, many people have already read the book, all of whom are looking out for errors.

It shows how elastic the mind is that we so easily recognize what the word is meant to be, or what order the sentence should be in, and keep on reading.

In my final proof typo hall of fame, I have:

Knees that crumbled.

Hands put into the coats of my pocket. 

And now...


If you can spot the typo, don't give it away! Just say you got it. :) Now imagine spotting that typo in among 159,000+ other words. I feel pretty awesome right now. (Until someone writes to me after the book is out and points out a typo I missed and I go gahhhhhh!). ;-)

How did the typo above escape the computer's eagle eye? In this case, it was human error - I made an edit in the manuscript post copy-edits and forgot to run the spellcheck over the addition. But human eyes pick up substitutions like bear/bare, lightning/lightening, so it all balances out in the end.

And yep, that's the final wordcount of Shards of Hope. In manuscript format, it'd probably be 630 or so pages I think. Formatted for the hardcover, it's 483 pages. 

That should keep everyone busy for a few hours at least!

42 comments :

Lege Artis said...

Got it. :D
This kind of typos are easy to overlook since our brain process it like it's written correctly, even though it isn't... For example, I noticed it right away because I knew it's there; but if I didn't...maybe it will take me several times to read it before I do. :)

Number of pages for Shards of Hope makes me happy. :)

Anonymous said...

Found it! :D
Took me a while though. I bow down to your awesomeness, Nalini.

Liz C said...

Fond it ^-^, took me a couple of times, I bow down to your awesomeness for having found this amongst 159,000 + words (which by the way is making me so so so happy ^-^

Liz C said...

woops Found it not fond (though I am very fond of your books ^-^

lacrima said...

I took me four tries to spot it, my excuse being that I'm not a native speaker.
Typos in books can drive me crazy, and sometimes put me off altogether, so I really appreciate the effort you're making in reducing their numbers :-)

Looking forward to reading that much Aden!

Anonymous said...

I read it earlier...couldn't spot it. After thinking about the typo I came back and found it. :) Typos are some of the annoying things about a book especially on an e-reader. When e-readers came out, I read the story in book form then on my e-reader. There were times an entire section of the book was gone on the e-reader. Took me by surprise. Thanks, Nalini for looking out for your readers.

Patricia S

H Brady said...

Good job spotting that one! I probably would have read the book and not noticed it.

Ell said...

Having spent much of my working life as a professional proofreader, OH yeah it's easy to miss things!

My all-time favorite I attribute to people laughing when they read the sentence; there was a typo (I don't now remember what) in a paper about a satellite-based telescope that studied stars. The sentence read something like "The dwarf was excited by the emissions from a hot companion."

azteclady said...

*raising hand* I did.



But you know that I'm obnoxious like that ;-)


Oh man, the wait until June...

Sara said...

It took me forever to find it. I am sure I wouldn't have found it if I hadn't known it was there.

Sidira Kyriaki said...

Got it!!!!

library addict said...

Found it. But I admit I only caught it after reading the lines backwards.

Yay for Shards of Hope staying long. Looking so forward to it.

Anonymous said...

Got it, too.:)

Can't wait for the book...

Thanks for your imagination and the resulting writing.
It keeps intriguing and amazing.
Thank you so much.

cheryl said...

Found it, but only because I knew it was there and was actively looking for it. Yeah, the brain just glosses over these things and keeps going. Primed and ready for the new book!

Turquise said...

Took just a moment... but then I'm a proof-reader. Why am I playing this game after a few hours of editing? Workaholic, that's who I am... ;)
I can't wait to get the book into my hands and read the whole thing! :D

Sara Thomas said...

I am horrible at spelling.
I couldn't find it. Had to finally read it backwards to find it.

Melissa Wolf said...

My favorite of all time is from when I worked for a charter airline, we had to register with the DOT each year for our public charter and we sent the paperwork registering our pubic charter!

kit said...

Got it!

Pam Tidwell said...

It is really amazing the corrections our minds make for us. I finally had to retype it on a word doc to find it... I just corrected it in my mind.

Shiloh Walker said...

I see it. ;) One of my favorite typos? I had one that read "He licked her laps."

elodie said...

Couldn't find it after multiple tries. Then i saw a comment from Sara. I feel like i need glasses.

Diane said...

Found it! So long still to wait for the book but happy to hear the amount pf pages is so high!!!

cheryl tauber said...

Took me a while to find it. Lol can't wait to read it.

G. Singh said...

got it..but not on the first try

Shefali Singh said...

I had no idea that it was the other gif. I took a look at the cover and thought it was there. It wasn't. I found it though. First try too.

Helen in Australia said...

Yep found it

Shari in Alabama said...

got it

Anonymous said...

Goy it! Took me a few tries. I hope you got all the solider/soldier switches. That one just makes me nuts. ;>)

Anonymous said...

I finally found it because I was looking for it and got your hint in the following paragraph. Some typos jump out at me, but this kind would not. I am a fast reader and realized a number of years ago that I do not read each individual word, so I probably read the 1st couple of syllables and my mind filled in the rest. Good luck with the proofing. So looking forward to this book!Love the Psy-Changeling series.

DJ

Manulifee said...

found it .. and have to say, don't care really, just gimme the book.

Anonymous said...

Got it straightaway - maybe because English is not my mother tongue and I 'stumbled' over it.
Strange that the spell checker didn't catch it, though.
Marcella

Kat Haeske said...

Four times, even with knowing it´s there... sheesh!
Though sometimes it´s easier if you´re not trying to find it, which is why a reader will spot something like this oftentimes where a proof reader does not.

Anonymous said...

Rah says...
Read it and noticed it the first time. But I don't care I just want the book..

Anita Rókás said...

I found it! I feel so awesome right now! 😆

Anita Rókás said...

I found it! I feel so awesome right now! 😆

Nicole Wegener said...

Am I the only one who is hooked on the blind fold part!!!!

Always V said...

It's pretty neat!
I was busy thinking . . .
should there be more than one . . .?

Loving the Typo Hall of Fame!

Debbie's World of Books said...

LOL. Took me a bit to find it. I cannot wait to read Shards of Hope!

Anita said...

Okay, I am clueless! I hope that sometime, someone will point it out. That being said, English was never my best subject. Give me math any day! ;)

Dianne R said...

That took me ages and I only found it because I saw two people say they read it backwards...

Em said...

Got it!! Finally. Took me a while. Nice trick by the way.

Karin said...

I used to translate books (fantasy/SF) for a living and always, always, ALWAYS found a typo the first time I opened my complimentary copy... Usually a stupid one, too... :)