Rule T: always make sure your story is dressed up in a Tuxedo

Linda’s Rules of Writing

Three emperor penguins walk imperiously towards the camera.
We’re here!  Now the party can start! Photograph by: Glenn Grant, National Science Foundation

United States Antarctic Program

We’re onto the letter T in Linda’s Rules of Writing of the A to Z Challenge, and making sure your story is dressed up in a Tuxedo.

The single major complaint that a lot of readers have about indie publishing is simple: The writer didn’t do basic proofreading.  Sort of like showing up for a formal party and being in the wrong clothes.

I’ll admit it.  I hate proofreading.  It’s about the most dull thing in existence, and I cringe every time I find yet another typo that I missed.  Spell check is great for catching some types of errors, and poor for other types.  In another post, I used the word meerkats, and the blog spell checker wanted to convert it to beermats.   Seriously, that is not even close to being the same thing.

But it really looks bad when a manuscript is riddled with obvious mistakes.  Several years ago, this one writer posted a chapter and demanded a critique.  It was “Tell me how to fix this.”  Translation: He wanted to fix the major story problems.  But the story itself was riddled with typos, spelling errors, and grammatical errors.  Frankly, it was hard to read at all, and we told him to fix all the issues first.  No, no, he just wanted us to tell him how to fix the story.  Guess he thought the publisher would fix all that and he didn’t have to bother.

Simple proofreading is the first impression.  Come best dressed.

What are some of your m0st embarrassing typos?

Caption: A to Z Challenge Logo

4 thoughts on “Rule T: always make sure your story is dressed up in a Tuxedo

  1. I did an Indie book last year for a family story. I know I missed stuff so sent it to friends. One of them rewrote my outline and several others found errors that needed to be corrected. Reading it again recently, I didn’t find typos but did find grammar errors. Fortunately, no one but family wants to read it so they are not as critical. Still, I am working on the rewrite, fixing things that were missed. If it had actually gone to a publisher, I would have had the benefit of a decent proof reader. I think at this point, it is wearing jeans and a tee shirt. I would like to see it in a Tuxedo.


    1. I make tons of typos. Flipping one word for another (train for tree) is very common. So I have to do a very laborious proofread to catch most of it. Of course, it was much worse proofreading other people’s stuff. Not everyone at least tries to get it right!


  2. Pingback: Reflections on A to Z Challenge | Linda Adams

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