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the importance of the edit...

edited May 2014 in - Writing Tales
just re-read one of my historic entries to find that I'd relied too much on the spellchecker and the 'what I expect to see' eye set. ..."her necklace was not made of plastic beards as I had first thought..." AND " ...his face relaxed into a mile..."
Guess I know why that story sunk without trace. Check, check, then double check. Preferably before hitting the Send button or buying a stamp! Happy writing everybody, may your weekend be fruitful...


  • Poor Doodle! But perhaps they were left wondering about the use of plastic beards in necklaces! :)

    You're not alone - this sort of cringe-making error has happened to me too. And it's not just typos that can catch us out. In a very recent submission, I had used the word 'engendered'. A nano second before I hit the Send button, I had a sudden doubt and checked the definition. As I suspected, I had misused it. Saved myself an embarrassing mistake!

  • A big problem for anyone - something about the way our brains work; stupid brains - is that we can reread the same thing countless times and our eyes fail to see the same mistake, reading what we expect to see instead. I don't know why but I find printing onto good old-fashioned paper helps remedy this.

    Having said this, I quite like the image of a necklace made of plastic beards.
  • The story I have just edited had the word 'over' as the last word of one sentence and the first of the next. How can I not have seen that before?
  • I find reading it aloud helps, and preferably on paper. The thing is that if you usually look at it on a screen, putting it into a different format confuses the eye and you actually see things you'd missed. You can download it to your Kindle and the smaller page will do the same thing for you.
  • This kind of checking is important, I agree. It's proofreading though, not editing.
  • Ah, PM - but I do both at once. Only the fianl read-through is a true edit.
  • Yes, I'm the same Lizy, though I do a final read-through aloud after the final edits.
  • It's easy to misread newspapers too. I was puzzled by a headline that said Jewish Muslim robbed. Puzzled for ages how you could be Jewish and a Muslim. Turned out it was a Jewish Museum that was robbed. Sigh of relief.
  • A headline from the war years


  • Are you going to leave us guessing, Bill?
  • guessing? not sure I know what you mean.

    A push [attack] by 8th army traps Germans.

    unfortune choice of words in truncated headline in limited space. Some people just dont think before they write.
  • Churchill flies back to front
    Prostitutes appeal to Pope
    Miners refuse to work after death
    Juvenile court to try shooting defendant
    Hospitals sued by 7 foot doctors
  • A headline from the war years


    They don't like it up 'em, Mr Mainwaring.

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