I thought I had been through it with a fine tooth comb but, randomly dipping into it, I spotted a typo that sent me back to the beginning to read the whole damn thing yet again … slowly … looking at the individual words rather than combining them into something I recognised, and yes, I am picking up one or two errors that I missed the previous time, and finding it hard to believe that I missed them. Other people’s mistakes in prose jump straight out at me!
Yesterday I found one of my characters stoking a dog instead of stroking it. Oops! I can’t blame the spell-checker for that one – but I do get cross with it for arguing with me all the time about apostrophe use, to the extent that I begin to doubt myself. In the book I have frequently used it’s as an abbreviation for it is and the spell-checker keeps trying to persuade me to remove the apostrophe. That is just one example of the spell-checker being annoying, which prompts me to be a bit too click-happy on the Ignore button, so I end up skipping some of its valid corrections. See, I do know how to use the apostrophe! I also know this story so well by now that I have no idea whether it’s any good or not. I believed it was good when I had just finished writing it, but I am too close to it now to judge it – it has turned into a grammar and spelling challenge.
I only hope that when it is eventually published, people will read it and tell me honestly what they think.