Friday, July 22, 2011

Kissing the Frog: Reading Backwards

I'm still working on editing Beneath a Broken Sky, but as I'm doing that I'm also getting critiques back from my different readers for In the Twilight Between. It made me realize that I have a lot of errors in this particular manuscript and I know why.

As I've stated before, I'm dyslexic. Over the years I've tried several different methods to combat this (btw, nothing really works, but I still try). One thing I tried was a dictation program. My hope was that I could edit my story, print it out, then read it back into the computer and weed out all my spelling errors.

Unfortunately it didn't work out like I had hoped. The dictation program did pretty good, but it miss heard me fairly often. Things like my heroine's name "Nadya" it would write "not yet a". I never got it to recognize that name and started calling her Jane, then find and replaced it later.

So in the end it created more problems then it helped.

Now I have to go through and try to find all the errors. The problem is I've read this MS fifteen billion times. When I start reading my eyes gloss right over the words (or I start quoting it from memory, followed by twitching and the urge to poke my eyes out with my pen).

I had heard of reading your story backwards as a trick for proof copies and I decided to give it a try. I have to say it works slick.

You start with the last page, go to the last paragraph and read through it. Then you go to the second to the last paragraph and so forth all the way through the book. By reading a paragraph at a time you still get the sentence structure, but your mind doesn't get engaged in the story. Every time you change paragraphs it brakes up the monotony and helps you focus on just that one part.

So far it's really been helping me and I would encourage anyone trying to proof edit their work to give it a try.

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