Yesterday I signed off on the final manuscript of my most recent novel — “Stephania Comes to America.” When I do my final review, I pray I’ve caught all of the typos and missing words that my brain didn’t catch the first time around. Much to my chagrin, after the book is finally in my hands, I haven’t caught all of the mistakes. It’s my most frustrating part of my writing.
It turns out I’m fighting my common brain. Yeah. That’s right. My brain fills in the missing words, and it doesn’t allow my eyeballs to see all the typos. I understand this because of a program on the Science Channel called, “My Bleeped Up Brain,” This program demonstrated why this happens. It seems our brains can’t process EVERYTHING it takes in, it edits for us. In the case of editing, our brains automatically fills in words where they haven’t been written. How do we fight that?
I thought the answer was to have my eagle-eye buddy Linda proofread the manuscript after my editor had passed her critical eye over the book. I’ve had many people tell me that they have enjoyed my stories, but the missed typos have driven them nuts. I assure you, my friends, this frustrates me as much as it does others. When I see mistakes in a piece of writing, I also think the author must either be careless or hurried. Now I understand it’s neither. It’s humanity frailty.
So from on, I am more tolerant of other’s typos (and my own, too). Perhaps someday, I’ll have an omniscient editor who has better eye balls than I do.