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.