Fans, friends, and anyone else can use the following address to send me email:

Whether it's a comment you don't wish to post in front of everyone or a request for information, I will monitor this address and try to follow up to those indicating they wish a reply. (Please, no spam. I just want to make it easy to communicate.)

IMPORTANT - email addresses are ONLY used to respond to messages, and are NOT sold or used for any other purpose.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Progress and a Gotcha

Back to writing "Janus Games" this Monday morning, although still clumsy with the cast on. I made some adjustments to the touch pad on my laptop so that the cursor would not keep moving every time my left thumb brushes over it. Very annoying. The cast will stay on until the end of May, according to my doctor, and then there will be a splint instead. Sigh. Maybe typing will be easier with the splint.

At this stage, I'm building up a list of suspects and now starting on the detective case line of plot. An explosive scene is right around the corner, but I need to make sure that it does not become obvious what has happened. That's why I'm throwing out hints and red herrings beforehand. There are two sections inside the killer's head so far, but those are designed to foreshadow the danger ahead. I've tried not to give much in the way of clues as to that person's identity, only their frame of mind and intentions to a degree.

Over the weekend, I thought of another Gotcha and a good example of why proofreading a manuscript is so vital. Here are two sentences, exactly the same except for the position of two letters.

  • The trail made for a rough ride.
  • The trial made for a rough ride.

The first one could appear in a western or wilderness adventure, describing a physical path over the earth, suggesting someone on horseback. The second could appear in almost any story to reference a courtroom situation or perhaps a difficult time of some sort where the "ride" is kind of slang-ish. Both sentences will pass computer grammar checks, yet depending on the context of the story, could still be wrong!

Many people, myself included, have a talent for what is called "closure." The mind is capable of reading text with mistakes in it but automatically correcting them before they reach a cognitive level. People do this to varying degrees, which can be a blessing in that it speeds up reading in general, but a curse when it comes to proofreading. Doing the latter takes patience and concentration, both of which become more difficult if the  story itself takes control of your attention.

No comments:

Post a Comment