Linda Maye Adams

The Woes of Proofreading

If I had to pick one aspect of writing I do not like, it would be proofreading.  A necessary evil, but it is so boring to do.  I let my book sit for about a month, and now I’m starting to proofread it.  So far, I’ve discovered that I managed to number at least two chapters with the same number.  Sigh.   Because I do find this so terribly tedious, I try to get it reasonably right in the first place because I don’t want to have to fix it.  Cuts down on a lot of typos.

This is my proofreading process:

1.  Run spelling and grammar check.  Word’s not great at this–it kept flagging “it’s” to replace with “its” when it was clearly correct.  It also doesn’t like two characters’ names, which are actual words, and keeps wanting me to make sentences singular because a proper name sounds singular.  But it can spot some mistakes, and I even took out some repetitions because it had flagged the sentence.

2. Fix ten of the chapters so they have the right chapter number (yup, this is bad–it was Chapter 7 that was wrong, and I have 50+ chapters.  Oh, dear) and are formatted exactly the same. (6 double spaced lines, chapter name, two double spaced lines, start chapter).

3.  Print the ten chapters.

4.  Read the chapters for typos, repetitions, and minor edits.  I’m also eliminating some of the detail so I don’t have to check continuity as much.  I use a colored pen so the corrections will stand out.

5. Update the on screen copy.  I take one page, make changes, drop the page on the floor, and go on to the next.

6. Return to Step 2.


  1. I also like to get someone else to check my proof reading after I think I’m done. It just makes life easier in the long run if I find out sooner rather than later that I’ve missed about twenty typos.



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