So, for the past week, I’ve been reading and editing and re-reading Mark’s book like crazy. And I mean crazy. twice, I’ve sat down and read it cover to cover almost without stopping. (Almost. I did get up a few times to stretch, or get more water) but I stuck to that sucker like glue. It took almost four hours each time.
Honestly, I’m starting to get sick of it reading it.
Thankfully though, all of this has paid off a lot. I found so so so so many errors that Microsoft word didn’t find. I ever found two very small plot inconsistency! Haazah! They were both very tiny and very easy to fix. But while I’ve been doing this, I would find certain errors and decided to blog about it.
Here are the most common errors I found while editing another person’s book.
Number one, it was formatted weirdly. For some reason, the entire manuscript was double indented. (You know how you indent at the beginning of a paragraph? Every single paragraph was double indented.) Also, after each sentence, there was two spaces. Sometimes three and a few times four. This was the biggest thing I had to fix. Going through and deleting all these extra spaces and correctly indenting.
Number two, character’s saying each others names. Hear me out, but I see this all the time. Two characters will be speaking and they constantly say the person’s name.
Yesterday, I was on the phone with my best friend. We talked for about 45 minutes and then I had to go. But neither of us said each others names while talking. Not once.
But I’ll be reading a book and I see a conversation like this,
“How are you Tom?”
“I’m good, Bill, and yourself?”
“Well Tom, it’s been hard.”
“I hear you, Bill.”
People don’t talk like this. They really don’t. There’s a scene in this book where the Protagonist meets an antagonist. And they have a conversation where they keep calling each other by their last name.
I understood why he formatted it like that, but the conversation was like three pages long. I cut out 85% of the names. And then through-out the book, I did it a lot as well.
Number Three, People stating stuff just for the audience.
I see this more in TV then I do in books, but I saw it a lot when editing Mark’s book. Through the book, he has a lot of internal thoughts. In fact, we go into the heads and hear the thoughts of over ten characters. This works because the book is written in third person.
However, sometimes the character’s thoughts are just to explain something to the audience and a person would never actually think like that.
Example, in the book a person is at a hotel and another person is outside. The guy outside wants to get some information, so he knocks on the door, disguises his voice and asks a question.
Later, the person in the hotel thinks.
“Who was that person at my door? I’m starting to think it was just an attempt to get me to come out.”
First, who thinks in their head, “I’m starting to think.” Second, this is talking to the audience. Giving information that she already knows, just so the audience is informed.
If you HAVE to do this, do it in a good sneaky way.
Of course, these were the big ones. of course I found a lot of little errors along the way. (Saying this with no judgement. Looking through my own work, I was amazed at the number of times I forgot to end quotation marks or put a freaking period!)
And I put this list out because I want to talk about what I noticed and what I learned. After seeing this stuff over and over, I looked back at my own writing and saw some of it there! Sometimes it takes another person’s work to open your eyes.
And by no means am I saying this because Mark’s book is bad. By no means. The plot’s great and so are the characters. Several have excellent character development.
So, I’m about done with editing this sucker. It’s now time to start the process for self publishing. Stay tuned =)