Yesterday I was a guest blogger on writer Brenna Zinn’s blog. I talked about my love of figure skating and how I used this in my first romance novel Skater’s Waltz. I mentioned Dorothy Hamill’s name several times and each time I spelled it incorrectly. So dumb! I know how to spell her name as well as my own and mine is much harder! Spell check doesn’t do names and I just glazed over it every time I read it in proofing. My Dartmouth grad English major daughter was the one who clued me into this mistake. Thank God for her.
This got me to thinking about why it is so imperative that we have editors.
Spell check was one of the best inventions ever and one of the worst. It has made us a writing nation of people who don’t bother to learn how to spell correctly and who don’t truly check our work, thinking our laptop programs will do it all and we will look like geniuses.
Na-ah. Doesn’t work that way.
I recently read a novel by a very famous and much published author who I happen to love. She mentioned colored contact lenses in the narrative of her story and even named the manufacturer. The only problem was that manufacturer doesn’t make colored contacts and never has. I know this because this is what I do for a paying job right now: I am a contact lens technician, so when I say I walk the walk and talk the talk of lenses, you can bank on it. Her editors and fact checkers paid her a huge disservice by not validating her statement and I think more people than just me noticed it.
So, back to editing. I learned a valuable lesson yesterday. When I write something I need to read it very very very slowly to make sure I have all the names correct, the i’s doted and the facts perfect. I don’t want to look like an idiot in print ( or in real life).
Lesson learned. Thank you, wise and learned daughter. And my sincere apologies to the fabulous Dorothy Hamill.