…is not omniscient. A friend and fellow-writer just sent me a list of the editing boo boos she found in Hidden Boundaries. What an ego-crusher! I suppose three dozen typos in 250 pages isn’t absolutely horrible, compared to some of the self-published books I’ve been reading, but I know they’d be completely distracting if I were reading that book.
How many times did I go over the manuscript? Most chapters, at least a half-dozen times. But in the process of doing what I thought and hoped was the final line edit, I discovered a fatal human flaw. There’s a limit to how long anyone can maintain a strict focus on what they’re doing. You’ll suddenly find that your attention has slipped away, and your eyes are gliding over the words and sentences without really taking in the details. What’s worse, you won’t know how long you’ve been in this semi-conscious state or how far back you need to go to make sure you didn’t skip right over some horrendous mistake.
What’s the lesson here? Do the best you can. Go over and over and over the draft until you’re sure it’s absolutely clean. Then hand it off to someone you trust and be prepared for the fallout.