One of the sticky things about proofing the galley is that I find things I would like to change, but unless it's something truly necessary, I can't. Missing words, wrong words, typos, formatting--those things are the expected changes. Add a sentence or change something for purely creative reasons? Those are no-nos. And then there are the gray areas. For example, here is how a particular passage appears in the galley:
I heard a sound, all too familiar: a silencer-equipped gun firing. My body went rigid, and I swore I felt the hair on the back of my head move with it.
As I read through this, I realized the last word, "it," is unclear in its reference. Someone fired a gun, but what Tracy feels is the bullet moving the air right above her head. I believe a minor change here makes things clearer, adhering to the rule supplied by Write Words to neither confuse the reader nor make unnecessary work for the editor.
I heard a sound, all too familiar: a silencer-equipped gun firing. My body went rigid, and I swore I felt the hair on the back of my head move as a bullet whizzed by.
It really becomes a judgment call over what constitutes and out-and-out error, an artistic change, or a matter of clarity as above. Of course, I try to take all this into account in proofing before I send the manuscript off, but, heck, sometimes stuff gets by. I think I've alluded to this in earlier posts, i.e., I get excited while reading action sequences, forget about proofing, and overlook errors. Some of them I just have to grit my teeth and let slide, wishing I could have done it better but having to accept responsibility for not doing so at the right time. Ah, well, I'm sure plenty of authors have published works out there with things that make them cringe.