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When I first started, I thought all you had to do is write a book. Can you say *naive*, boys and girls? Join me on my journey as a pre- published writer looking to see my name on the cover of a book. I'll talk about all the bumps, bruises, joys and frustrations I encounter along the way.

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Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Editing Right to Left?

While Tony Danza was trading quips with Camryn Manheim on his talk show this morning, I decided to waste some time and browse the 'net. And I came across a couple of interesting editing concepts.

While editing your ms for typos, print it out (because you always catch more mistakes on hardcopy than on a computer screen) and read it from right to left, rather than left to right.

Supposedly, since this is the opposite of what your eyes and mind are trained to do when reading, you should catch more of the typos you wouldn't catch when reading normally.

This made sense to me. I know that when I'm reading my own work, my mind will sometimes read the text as I know it's supposed to read instead of how it's actually printed.

The other tip was to print your ms out in an entirely different format and font from what you've been working in.

The reasoning behind this is your ms will look entirely different from what you're used to seeing, and as a result, will make it easier for you to catch mistakes.

I don't know if either of these tips actually work, but in preparation for my submission of IH next month, I'm going to try both today and see what happens.


  • I still think this is a great tip!!

    By Blogger Teresa, at 7:58 PM  

  • It's an interesting way to do editing. I guess it's because you're not reading sentences that make sense, but just words. It's a good way to catch some typos. But others like homonyms will be hard to detect.

    By Blogger Silma, at 8:37 PM  

  • Thanks for the comments, Silma and Teresa!

    I was thinking about using both the methods -- reading right-to-left to catch the typos, and printing in an alternate format and font to catch other errors.

    Gotta make this baby shine as brightly as possible before I kick it out of the nest!

    By Blogger Lynn, at 8:56 PM  

  • Er...I tried editing right to left, and it made me dizzy, seasick-dizzy. :( Gonna have to try something else. LOL

    By Blogger Larissa, at 8:20 AM  

  • I always paper edit!!! it's a great tip but R to L I never tried!!

    By Blogger Amie Stuart, at 11:10 PM  

  • Hey Cece! I've always done the hardcopy thing, too. And if I'm home alone, I read my ms out loud. That's helped in the past, but I still tend to fill in the blanks.

    Sorry left-to-right made you dizzy, Larissa! It never occurred to me that could happen. I actually haven't tried that method yet. But I will when I finish reading this ms the "right" way.

    By Blogger Lynn, at 9:37 PM  

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Location: Atlanta-ish, Georgia, United States

I'm a wife, a mom, an operating room nurse, a writer, a hobby photographer, and a music lover who knits and crochets. And I'm fairly certain I've lost my mind.

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