August 1, 2010

the "joys" of reformatting - or let's talk hyphens

i'm not sure why i'm doing this. perhaps one of you can explain this insanity. isn't it enough that i'm going to be formatting Blackheart for publishing in the near future? (or perhaps the distant future at this rate?) isn't there enough on my plate with doctor's appointments and getting my house decluttered for a sale sometime next year?

apparently not.

sometime in the last few weeks, i decided to reformat Eldala. i'm still not sure why. maybe it was because i found a blog that reviews self-published novels and one of the first things the reviewer says is that if she finds x number of mistakes in the first few pages, she won't finish the book. do i think i'm ever going to submit Eldala for review? i've considered the notion a few times and always decline. i'm a big chicken. it's one more reason i didn't want to submit the novel to an agent or editor. i don't like rejection. what a big baby.

anyway, now i have this bee in my bonnet to get rid of all the formatting and editing mistakes.

the first error i'm tackling is hyphens. in my quest to "get it right" i came across two sites that discuss hyphens. maybe you can use these as well.

English forums: Rules for Using Hyphens

English Plus Grammer: Rules for dividing words at the end of a line

i've been consulting the second one a lot in the last hour because i didn't know some of these rules when i formatted Eldala the first time. did you know that you're not supposed to divide a proper noun? did you know that "there should be at least two letters plus the hyphen on the first line and three letters on the second"? so a-bout and a-pron and love-ly are all wrong.

for being a grammar snob, i'm surprised i didn't know those rules.

i sure know them now.

the next thing is to go over the whole thing, yellow marker in hand, and find all the spelling mistakes that Word and i and my husband didn't catch before i approved it for sale. and do i even want to start in on all the places where i used "said Kieran" instead of "Kieran said"?

sigh. who wants to go out for ice cream?


Lisa Yarde said...

If you need help finding some of the errors in your file, try a pogram called Natural Reader. It reads your pdf or rich text documents. There's free and paid versions. Something about following along with the reader on the screen helped me find the problems. At least I hope so. I also recommend Grammarly for help with errors. Follow up with me by email if you want details.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's why I'm glad my publisher's editor catches that stuff, because I am not the master of grammar.
However, since my book went out for reviews at the beginning of the summer, I'm sure I'll see one that doesn't bode well soon. Be brave and send out your book. Then we can both go for ice cream!

Margo Berendsen said...

ugggh, I admit I have no patience for nitpicky grammar rules - I will so need to hire a professional editor at some point! Bravo for you for tackling the hyphens and other issues! Right now I am just TICKLED I found an automatic editor to correct word echoes. You know, where you overuse certain words.

Michelle Gregory said...

Lisa, i'm looking into Natural Reader, but only if i can edit the pronunciations enough in the personal edition so that it reads my fantasy names close to what they really sound like.

Alex, the joys of indie publishing. you are your own editor or you hire one. or both. i'll try to be brave, but the ice cream will have to be virtual.

Margo, at least i'm not editing for everything that could possibly be fixed. since it's already out there, i don't want to change it so much that it loses the flavor of the story. it's my first baby and i want to have something to compare my next one to, to say that i've improved. hey, i could do a blog post about this.