by Marsha Ward
For my first Friday post, I thought I would try out new technology. This post is being composed on a Samsung tablet, using Blogger's mobile app. How about that! The typing is much slower than I'm used to, but the convenience of not being tethered to a desktop is pretty neat.
I finished reading a book a few minutes ago. The story was intriguing, and I enjoyed that a lot.
However, I think The Curmudgeon must have gotten out of his dungeon and been reading over my shoulder, as he was quite vocal about a few points.
1. Some modern language, both words and phrases, intruded into the historical setting.
2. Typographical errors abounded, many more than I would have expected from an award-winning author. Words were transposed in sentences, and extra words left in after edits had been made by removing some words and rewriting the sentence differently.
3. Some factual errors jolted me out of the story. At one point, a person went upstairs, but in the same paragraph, had stayed downstairs to converse with others. In another instance, a woman who had given birth was buried under a headstone proclaiming that she had only lived to the age of eleven years.
4. A few words did not mean what the author may have thought, and some little touches were missing, either due to the author's youth, or a lack of thorough research.
I must say that I share The Curmudgeon's distress over the lack of proofreading in the version of the manuscript I was given. The fact that the ARC was labeled an "Advanced Reader's Copy" also gave me pause. I appreciate being thought of as an advanced reader. However, the standard meaning of ARC is "Advance Reader Copy," or a copy provided to selected readers (usually reviewers) in *advance* of publication.
Well, I put The Curmudgeon back in the dungeon and reflected on the good story I had read. I liked it. It was well plotted, if a teensy bit predictable. The characters were well-drawn. There was adequate use of sensory language and tension. It's a pleasant read, and quite clean as to moral values. I would like, though, to read the published version, as I anticipate fewer problems of the type I've cited above will be in the finished edition.
But my determination to not make these sorts of errors in manuscripts I share has been refreshed by the experience.