This year I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo officially – how about you guys?
I went back and forth about which novel to actually apply to this project and finally decided on Book 4 in the Portia Adams Adventures because I find I am writing it in my head almost every day – might as well harness that power!
For those of you who don’t know what NaNoWriMo IS, let me explain: its a month-long (November) writing project where you and all the other writers participating track and upload your word count progress. The idea is that you and every other writer registered uses the shared momentum of writing a certain amount every day to motivate us ALL to really crank out 50k of words in 30 days.
I’m pretty excited, especially when I read about all the other books being worked on (some of them look AWESOME) and I’m curious to see if this makes me write even faster (I already write pretty fast I am told).
There truly is a name for everything on the internet. I was searching around this morning for a phrase to describe the feeling where you’re reading over your umpteenth edit of a manuscript you know off by heart and you’re not even seeing the words anymore.
That feels apt, but to take it further, the same way snow blindness has a scientific name (Photokeratitis) I am coining a new term for writer’s blindness Verbameakeratitis. Verba mea is latin for ‘my words’
In my own case, as I get ready to hit <send> on my second-edits for Thrice Burned, I find myself using these tricks to ‘see’ my own errors and catch them before inflicting them upon my poor editor/publishers <again>.
Read Aloud – this is something they teach to every first year journalism student (I should know, I was one) and it really does work. You are much more likely to catch an error if you have to read your words aloud.
Read your writing on a different machine – I find PDFing my document and reading it on the iPad helps me not slip into complacency. I’ve caught lots of typos that way
Know thy faults. I have a bad habit of adding stage direction (usually eyebrows a-waggling) so I do a search of the document for my own bad habits.
Read the document in order: just because you’re SURE that first chapter is pristine, do not feel you can skip it. Read the whole story as if you were a first time reader to really SEE the mistakes.
Check all dates and locations if you write historical fiction – this is a big one. Make sure every instance of a date is double-checked and makes sense.
What are your tricks for avoiding Verbameakeratitis ?
I’m about to head off on my great August adventure – meeting my brand new niece and then touring around with Portia Adams – so if YOU or any of your FRIENDS are in the fine states of NY or VA, please come down and say hi !
Also, if you could alert your friends in the area to these events I’d be much-obliged!