Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Writing Week: Issue 22, Year 5

Typos in books. 

I am spotting more and more typos in books lately. In a post a while back I mentioned I had come across five typos in the novel The Dervish House by Ian McDonald, published by Gollancz.
In Jonathon Franzen’s novel Freedom, I spotted a typo where I think the editor might have wanted to change “than” to “then”, but instead included both then and than straight after each other in a sentence that did not make any sense.

I have also noticed a couple of typos in a few other books I have read recently, but as they are not from major publishing houses - and therefore didn’t have access to lots of editorial assistance - one or two typos can be excused.

I am no expert on punctuation and spelling. I only tend to notice a typo when a sentence does not make sense. In past years I rarely spotted typos in novels. Perhaps my choice of more complex novels in recent years has me concentrating more when I read, causing me to notice more typos.

But I have also been reading more recently published works lately. Most of them published in the past couple of years. That tends to suggest that the quality of editing is not as good as it was.

Science Fiction on Television.

For science fiction fans in Australia, Go snuck series four of Fringe back into its schedule last Monday at 10.30 pm. Going on previous series, it will probably be close to the best science fiction on television this year, so don’t miss it.

I hope for another series of Torchwood this year. I also hope the writers of Doctor Who forget about having a continual story line, so each episode can devote its entire 45 minutes to a well-developed and suspenseful story. And please kill off the Doctor’s companions.

My Writing.

My novel manuscript has crept up to 89,700 words. Next week I plan to research and write a new article for Divine. This one is very technical and will require a lot of research. It’s about how government departments define a person with a disability.


Anthony J. Langford said...

God, I hope there wasn't one in mine was there? Please tell me there wasnt...

Congrats on getting your novel to 90K! That's a novel right there..

Havent seen Fringe, nor the latest Torchwood series.

Graham Clements said...

Sorry Anthony, but I think I spotted two. The one I can remember is that at the end of one sentence there was an "it" instead of an "out" or something like that. It was a fair way in. I suspect you will want to know exactly where, but I just flicked through it and could not find it. I will probably have to read much of it again to find it, and the other one.

As you are not like Cory Doctorow, who offers prizes to people who inform him of typos in his novels, I did not write down the typo. I was also too engrossed in your story to stop and write down the page number.

But it's no big deal - it/they didn't detract from my enjoyment of your book. My post is more about the fact that I am spotting typos all over the place lately, like in the AGE, whereas I formerly wasn't.

I would hate to be an editor myself, because I know I would be totally incapable of producing an error free copy edit of a novel. Better to critique and hope someone else picks up the remaining typos.

Anthony J. Langford said...

oh that's disappointing. I did a search with it. and out. but found nothing.
Too late for the print edition but still finalising an epub version, so if I can find them I can fix it. Trouble is, it's likely something tricky that my brain has passed over many times, so I'm likely to do it again. This is where a fresh eye helps.

Graham Clements said...

I knew you would go through it and try to find it/out. A couple of days ago, I decided to write down the page number and what I think the typo is every time I see one. I then thought I won't see any for years, except in the Age newspaper which consistently has them, but that night I spotted a couple, which I wrote down.