Finding Something Friday: So You Think You Can Be a Proofreader (Or Editor)

Oh, I know your type, writer. You’re a real whiz with grammar, know all the punctuation rules, you even know a couple of those cool proofreader marks. You’ve often said to yourself (particularly after being raked over the editing coals), Pooh! I could do that.

And I know this, writer, because I am that writer.

But after spending about 20 minutes taking the Society for Editors and Proofreaders Self Test, I threw in the red pen. Not so much because I didn’t know what was what, proofreading-wise (though I’m not ruling out that possibilty). It was more of an eyes-glazing-over and not knowing what was what until my head slammed into the laptop and woke me up.

For crying out loud, how many times was I going to have to correct the same &*^% page?

Turns out, proofreading and editing require a ton of patience, an attention to detail, and the singular ability to find every stinking thing wrong on the page. Who knew?

Anyway, I think I’ll just stick to being a writer. But you all go right ahead and give it a go.

(P.S. I think I found this link on my Writing World newsletter–you should give this site a go the next time you’re looking for writing info. And to all those hard-working editors/proofreaders, I’m very, very sorry. I take all those Poohs! back.)

Thursday Tips on Writing and Editing

So I zipped over to Cynsations (Cynthia Leitich Smith’s blog) this morning to read this lovely guest post from Deborah Halverson on Why Perfectly Nice People Make Perfect Bad Guys. It’s well worth the read, whether you write flash, short stories or novels, because characters can make all the difference in whether you end up with a good story or a bad story.

And as is so often the case, I found all sorts of other interesting writerly things to check out. Like the giveaway at Cynsations for Deborah Halverson’s Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies (just read to the end of Deborah’s guest post!).

And then, of course, I had to zip over to Deborah’s site called Dear Editor.com where she’s having a virtual book launch for Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies. And she’s giving away a a first chapter manuscript critique for a couple days. (It must be a middle grade or young adult first chapter.)

And then, I nosed around the site to read a few of the Dear Editor questions and answers. Again, you don’t have to write for the kidders and teens to appreciate Deborah’s advice.

Honestly, it’s not even lunch and I’m feeling scads more writerly brilliant than I did at breakfast. Though I have no idea why I would say “scads.”