Proof reading my own work
It is not ideal. I am very quick to spot other people’s typos, but I look at a paragraph of my own words and only see what I intended to write. It does help that I finished the book a while ago, so there is a sense of re-visiting it. The closer I am to it, the less likely I am to spot the mistakes.
I am not only checking for mistakes but also for consistencies. Sometimes I have written ‘Mr’ or ‘Mrs’ with a full-stop after it and sometimes without, and there are places where the word processor has inverted the speech marks the wrong way; normally in dialogue, where the speaker’s words are interrupted, represented by a dash – or else when their words trail off … and this is more noticeable with Times New Roman than with Arial, owing to TNR being more curvy. (Hmm. Okay, don’t worry, I’m done with fonts!)
There are also times when I am eluded by the common name that everyone else uses for something. I had one of my characters turning off the main road and into a ‘business complex’, which didn’t sound right. I asked my partner, “What do you call those places with a huge car park surrounded by shops like Argos, Next, Boots and PC World and there is always a McDonald’s?”
‘Retail Park,’ he instantly replied.
Of course! ‘Business complex’, I ask you!