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Monstrous Mistakes and Terrible Typos!

March 23rd, 2012

You’ve done it; you’ve finally completed the last line of your article, short story or assignment. So what do you do next? Print it off and pop it into the post box? Or for e-mail, click send? No, the next step should be to read your work through then you can think about sending it.

Be Sure To Always Proofread

It’s so easy to overlook this step but if you don’t take the time to check your work through, it could be rejected even if the content is good. Editors usually don’t mind the odd mistake but a lot of errors will put an editor off, especially when they’re simple mistakes such as leaving full stops off the end of sentences. Competition for publication is fiercer than ever and editors have plenty of scripts to choose from which are error-free so if yours is peppered with mistakes, they’ll choose one of the others.

It’s best to set your work aside for a few days, otherwise you’re still close to it and it’s harder to spot any inaccuracies. Errors are more difficult to spot on screen so it also helps to print your work out. Another tip is to read your work aloud. This is an effective way to highlight any glaring errors such as full stop, comma and speech mark omissions as well as spelling mistakes, unnecessary words and where a new paragraph is needed.

Though, sometimes a mistake comes under the guise of a typo, where the word you meant to type has changed slightly, sometimes only by a letter, into a completely different word altering all meaning to a sentence. I should know – I’ve been hit by the curse of the terrible typo before.

Nonetheless, this is one area where I practice what I preach and always make sure I read my work through thoroughly. That isn’t to say a typo hasn’t slipped through on occasions but I ensure I lessen its chances of doing so.

Here are a few examples, which have caused beads of perspiration to break out onto my brow in relief that I hadn’t pressed the ‘send’ key before checking my work carefully:

———

What I meant to type:

I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Editors are very busy people.

I’m afraid your market choice doesn’t

accept twist-in-the-tale stories.

Your story is full of strong characters.

Best wishes.

Editors like to hear about your experiences.

Your story left me with a warm glow.

What I actually typed:

I look forward to hearing from you shorty.

Editors are very busty people.

I’m afraid your market choice doesn’t accept twits-in-the-tale stories.

Your story is full of string characters.

Best washes.

Editors like to hear about your experiments.

Your story left me with a warty glow.

———————–

I’m sure you’ll be reading through your own work very thoroughly from now on!

Esther-CakeEsther Newton is a freelance writer and Writers Bureau tutor. She says: “ We all achieve various milestones in our lives. As writers, they may include having that first article or short story published. Of course, there are also milestones that we pass in terms of age. As you can see from the cake in the picture, I recently reached an important milestone birthday. Though, you’d never know I liked cats would you?”

Monstrous Mistakes and Terrible Typos!

You’ve done it; you’ve finally completed the last line of your article, short story or assignment. So what do you do next? Print it off and pop it into the post box? Or for e-mail, click send? No, the next step should be to read your work through then you can think about sending it.

It’s so easy to overlook this step but if you don’t take the time to check your work through, it could be rejected even if the content is good. Editors usually don’t mind the odd mistake but a lot of errors will put an editor off, especially when they’re simple mistakes such as leaving full stops off the end of sentences. Competition for publication is fiercer than ever and editors have plenty of scripts to choose from which are error-free so if yours is peppered with mistakes, they’ll choose one of the others.

It’s best to set your work aside for a few days, otherwise you’re still close to it and it’s harder to spot any inaccuracies. Errors are more difficult to spot on screen so it also helps to print your work out. Another tip is to read your work aloud. This is an effective way to highlight any glaring errors such as full stop, comma and speech mark omissions as well as spelling mistakes, unnecessary words and where a new paragraph is needed.

Though, sometimes a mistake comes under the guise of a typo, where the word you meant to type has changed slightly, sometimes only by a letter, into a completely different word altering all meaning to a sentence. I should know – I’ve been hit by the curse of the terrible typo before.

Nonetheless, this is one area where I practice what I preach and always make sure I read my work through thoroughly. That isn’t to say a typo hasn’t slipped through on occasions but I ensure I lessen its chances of doing so.

Here are a few examples, which have caused beads of perspiration to break out onto my brow in relief that I hadn’t pressed the ‘send’ key before checking my work carefully:

What I meant to type: What I actually typed:

I look forward to hearing from you shortly. I look forward to hearing from you shorty.

Editors are very busy people. Editors are very busty people.

I’m afraid your market choice doesn’t I’m afraid your market choice doesn’t

accept twist-in-the-tale stories. accept twits-in-the-tale stories.

Your story is full of strong characters. Your story is full of string characters.

Best wishes. Best washes.

Editors like to hear about your Editors like to hear about your

experiences. experiments.

Your story left me with a warm Your story left me with a warty

glow. glow.

I’m sure you’ll be reading through your own work very thoroughly from now on!

BadMoonRising_KINDLEEsther Newton is a freelance writer and Writers Bureau tutor. She says: “ We all achieve various milestones in our lives. As writers, they may include having that first article or short story published. Of course, there are also milestones that we pass in terms of age. As you can see from the cake in the picture, I recently reached an important milestone birthday. Though, you’d never know I liked cats would you?”

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