Thursday, 25 August 2011

3 ReasonS why i Knead a pRoofreadeR

Now that you've worked out the title, I must confess my mistakes of that nature are few and far between (thank the Lord). However it does highlight one obvious reason proofies are amongst my bestest friends in the whole wide world: I make mistakes!

Here are just three of the reasons I love the varied friends who are brave enough to read my stories, and why I trust them with this scary line of work.

Proofies are objective. When we've put our heart and soul into thousands of words of MS, we're heavily invested in something that stands every chance of not being able to work for any multitude of reasons. I need someone detached who can cast their eye over what I've written and spot the holes so it can be improved. I like what I write but am usually too close. Being told what is downright dumb really helps. If it doesn't wash with the proofie(s), chances are it won't with someone else. My proofies have helped me shelve some stuff quite happily.

Proofies are brave. My dear mother was my first ever fiction proofie when I was about 15 years old or so, but when I started writing I was only prepared to hear her gush about my prose and storylines and twists. I had no room to hear her negative criticisms. It only took one person to make me realise my writing could be bad. My mother. Proofies must be as thick-skinned as the writers they read for. They must be honest and prepared to step on toes. If you're acting as proofie for someone who's assuring you they want to grow, you stand a chance of hurting their feelings. I try and make it easy on my proofies - if what I've written is tripe, I want to know and will absolutely 100% not fall out in a dead faint if it's bad (nor will our friendship be over). After all, you think I want to go unpublished forever? You're helpin' me out, here.

Proofies are generous. They are giving up precious hours of life they may not get back. Oftentimes this is a favour when there's a multitude of other things they could be doing. They do not deserve a whipping, but abundant thanks. They are helping you see what you don't, and to fix what you thought was quite alright. If you ain't payin', don't bemoan their (perceived) tardiness. I value my own time like crazy. Value the time of your proofie, too.

My heart is always full of thanks to my proofreaders, and the only thing that flattens me is when I can feel the honesty I so desire is being hidden behind courtesy. I am not my story, and I am aware not everyone is going to like it because everyone is different in what they look for in fiction. Proofies, I value you like only the best kind of chocolate. Who can live without it?

PS~ If any of you is reading this and spots a mistake, I'm sorry! It's you who make me look good ;)

Decide: Who is on your list of proofreaders? Why have you chosen them? Are they doing your ego wonders but your writing a world of harm?

"The way of fools seems right to them,
   but the wise listen to advice." Proverbs 12:15

L'insensé pense toujours qu'il fait bien,
      mais le sage √©coute les avis des autres.

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