Though it’s especially disappointing when I was so excited about my chosen project for the Write-a-thon this year, I’ve realized it’s just not a good time to work on something so demanding. To make sure I accomplish something meaningful during the remainder of the six weeks, I’ve decided only to focus on doing the final edits of the novel I’m about to start querying, In the Shadow of the She-Wolf. (More specifically, the first volume of that novel, since I split the book into three parts last year.) My father (retired English prof), is proofreading the manuscript, and I’m very close to the end now.
This is the book that acquired the infamous title of ‘NFH’ (Novel from Hell), because it’s been through so many drafts–both drastic rewrites and the kind that mostly involve nitpicking and polishing the language–over so many years. So I find it quite curious that I’m actually finding typographical errors in the manuscript, if only very occasionally. And I would describe myself as a pretty good proofreader. (When Virginia Kidd reviewed a much earlier incarnation of this novel many years ago, one of the things she complimented me on was how clean the manuscript was, and I did the final polish on that version entirely on my own.)
Since there was new material added to the first volume, it doesn’t surprise me when my father or I find errors in those sections, but the rest of it has been combed through multiple times by three beta readers, and countless times by myself. Clearly this is exactly why some people recommend reading backwards when proofreading; the human brain will often ‘auto-correct’, filling in what it knows should be in a sentence or phrase when something is missing or incorrect.