Thursday, July 15, 2010

On: Quality Control

This week's hard learned lesson is about proof reading.

I've always made Spell Check my best friend; I've been exceptionally vigorous about making. myself. slow. down. and read carefully. But somehow, mistakes are still slipping through. It's like I get this mental haze going on when I'm invested or excited about prepping a story for submission.

My palm is beginning to get an imprint of my face going on. I feel like a prize ninny when I get a rejection or see something of mine posted and I notice the spelling and grammar mistakes, or the plot holes have trucks driven through them by helpful critiquers.

I know, I know, it's all about learning from your mistakes, but I keep thinking "this is stuff I should have learned twenty years ago". It's a little bruising to the ego to be reminded that even in my thirties I'm still learning. Heck, I've pretty much gone back to school on writing - I'm reminded almost daily what a noob I am at this publishing industry thingy.

But I think it's a good thing that I'm getting reminded often how much I have to learn, and the rigour I must undertake. If I want to be good, if I want to get published, this basic stuff has to become second nature.

I've been reminded from reading various blogs how valuable writing groups are. This is something I've not given much thought to. Sure, I use the OWWSFF for structured critique, but I'm wondering if I need something more. Do I need to find a local writing group? Perhaps I need to find a friend who can act simply as a copy editor for me. That seems a big ask for little return - "Take the red pen to my stuff and I'll pay you in...alcohol and autographs when I'm rich and famous?"

I'm not comfortable with letting anyone particularly close be an editor for me. Letting them read my fiction would be too much like letting them read my diary (if I had one - I abhor them). I need help from those more objective, less invested in keeping my ego at a passable PSI.

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