Flora Reigada is a wife, mother and grandmother, who loves cats, clouds, church and pizza—not necessarily in that order. Her writing career includes twenty years as a correspondent for the Florida Today newspaper and other publications. She continues to write for Senior Life newspaper. She has authored numerous books and published articles.
Here is a guest blog she recently wrote for http://whispersinpurple.com
Editing errors, rewrites, and other writing stuff . . .
She was mad as a march hair.
Light streamed in through tall widows.
Those are examples of errors I have observed in published and soon-to-be-published material. The first, paraphrased from Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," should of course be, "She was mad as a March hare." The second, "tall widows" rather than windows, is an example from my own work. Thankfully, the mistake was caught in time by my hubby/editor "Ol' Eagle Eye." I shudder to think how many have escaped our notice. Those we've found have often given us a good laugh. I'm hoping that the errors I highlight in this blog will do the same for others. But maybe they will encourage fellow writers to do something my mistakes teach me: reread and rewrite, until I get it right. The following error almost made me a laughing stock.
Jesus, Mary and …Stanley???
One click of a computer's mouse can "spell" disaster and humiliation. It almost did for me after I gave my inspirational thriller, The Face Behind the Veil, a final going-over before e-mailing it to my publisher. At the last minute, I decided to change a character's name from Joseph to Stanley.
In a split second, this "global change" was made throughout the three-books-in-one, 600 page manuscript, which traces the legend of the birth veil through three generations.
That was the only alteration I made after the book was edited. Confident it was error-free, I clicked "send" and off it went. It wasn't long before I received the galley for my approval, so the printing process could begin.
Weary of the seven-year project, I almost didn't review the galley. But something in me couldn't let it go. That must have been Providential. Imagine my surprise when I discovered how the name change I made, affected a scene where the Christmas story is told. In horror, I read the following.
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Stanley, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Stanley her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Stanley, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost … Then Stanley being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife" (Matthew 1:18-20, 24).
After getting over my initial shock, I made the necessary changes.
Now I can laugh about this incident, but it taught me something important. Although I love the convenience and speed of modern technology, editorial changes are best made the old fashioned way, one at a time and with a pair of discerning human eyes.