I screwed up. Big time. And if not for my eagle-eyed editor, I wouldn’t have realized it until it was too late. I committed the unpardonable sin of giving my Scottish character an Irish brogue. Granted, he isn’t a main character and it was just one teeny-tiny sentence, but once is too much. Especially it you’re Scottish. Or Irish. I should have known better. My ancestors are predominately Scottish and I’m guessing that most of them would have rather been drawn and quartered than spoken with an Irish brogue. And vice-versa.
Funny, but you don’t look Irish.
I’m pretty sure I don’t want this guy mad at me.
What’s funny is that The Devil’s Own Luck was beta read by half a dozen readers and nobody else noticed my dialect mishap. But others would have eventually noticed it and I would have rightly been taken to task, so I’m beyond grateful that she caught it.
It wasn’t my only mistake. I made plenty of others. I unintentionally gave my main character x-ray vision. He was able to look at a stone wall and know what was on the other side and since this isn’t a fantasy, his ability was completely inappropriate. I overused certain words, made punctuation errors, had about 1000 words that needed to be cut and created a character who was completely boring.
I don’t care how many times you read through your own manuscript, you can’t do your own final edits. No one can. It’s impossible. You know exactly what you want to say, so that’s how you read it, even if that isn’t how you wrote it. You need a fresh pair of eyes in the form of a good editor. They do their thing and then they give it back to you. And if you’re honest, you really don’t want it back. You want it over with.
Chances are good that by the time your manuscript has made it past your critique partners, beta-readers, your own edits and your editor’s edits, you are so flipping sick of the damned thing you don’t care what your characters do or how the story ends. You just want it finished so you can get on with your next project. This is where it gets hard. Prepare to buckle down and slash scenes and change dialogue, beef up your characters and tighten your plot. As long as you don’t stop, you’ll get through it. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.
It’s really hard. There’s so much else to do. So many distractions. The grocery store is running kick-ass specials that I can’t ignore. I’ve got at least 30 books on my Kindle that I haven’t read. My closets need to be reorganized. The refrigerator needs cleaning. And I’m thinking seriously about stenciling the driveway and repainting my grout. Anything to avoid that final, grueling edit. But I want it over with, so I’ll just suck it up, make another pot of coffee and get it done…
Have a great week!!!