I’d like to tell you that every manuscript I write is flawless. The truth is, though I’ve been told many times that I write extremely clean manuscripts, mistakes still claw their way into my stories. Most of these, I catch when I do rewrites and proofreading, and as I write each book I keep a separate file of notes with things that I need to address. Some excerpts from my work-in-progress:
It’s not clear where the campfire is located.
What happened to the bird?
Henry wears glasses. (They’re described at the beginning and never mentioned again.)
Rodney’s facial hair is never set up. (SPOILER: Rodney’s facial hair becomes important in a later scene.)
By the time I’m done with my first draft, I’ve got about a page of notes that I need to address. So I go back, address all of those issues, and try to hunt down each typo and continuity error. It doesn’t matter how many times I go through a book, there will be something I screwed up.
So then I send the book to my trusty league of proofreaders. The lineup changes a bit from book to book, but Tod Clark, Jim Morey, Michael McBride, Rhonda Wilson, Greg Lamberson, and Rick Moschgat are usually involved.
Two of my go-to proofers, Elizabeth A. White and Ashley Davis, have now gone professional. And they’re both awesome.
Elizabeth A. White is best known as a book reviewer, and her plot summaries are better than anything I’ve ever written for my own work! Go to her site, read any random review, and you can see that she knows what she’s talking about. She reads a lot, she’s VERY insightful, and whatever she says about my books–good or bad–I always feel like she nailed it.
I’d recommend her for anything, but especially if you’re looking for an editor for mystery/crime/thriller fiction. For more information about her editing services, click right HERE.
Ashley Davis e-mailed me about a year ago to offer to proofread any new manuscripts I might have, and I figured, sure, why not? And I’ve gotta say, I was stunned by how thorough she was. Because she’s able to work at a frightening pace, she offers a special Rush Service edit, where if you’re in a hurry, she can deliver an edit within 6-8 hours. Insanity! I highly recommend her services, and you can learn all about ’em right HERE.
Note that I’m not getting any kind of kickbacks from this, nor am I saying “Hey, every aspiring writer should pay a professional to look at their work!” But if you’re in the market for an editor–and in this age of self-publishing it may be a damn good idea–I give my seal of approval to both of these ladies.
Trust me, I wouldn’t post this if I thought you were going to come back and scream “Strand! You bastard!!! You led me astray!!!”