It never fails to amaze me, even after so many years of working with texts, that, no matter how often you go over the same text, you still find things to improve. Yesterday I went through all the feedback I had received from the beta readers of my advance reader copies to see which edits I’d compile for the publisher to implement. The good news was, four diligent readers (who had not read the book before), found no errors per se, i.e. no typos or formatting gone awry. Phew! Avoiding those had been my main concern.
Of course, any diligent reader who cares about writing will give you edits, question your word choice, suggest different punctuation or italicization. In two instances, however, they also found spots where I had erred, strictly speaking. Both involved other languages. In one, I had transliterated a Hebrew word using a “t” rather than a “d,” which you would think didn’t make much of a difference, but to someone who understands Hebrew, in this instance, it did, because the “t” denoted a feminine ending when it should have been a masculine one, ending in “t.” Granted, this one took special knowledge!
The other instance sailed by all previous readers, but should have tripped up at least a few. I had referred to the ticking sound of an alarm clock as “tick tack, tick tack.” Not wrong, but, and this is the fine point, “tick tack” is the sound attached to it in German! One of my beta readers correctly pointed out that to an English reader, the sound should be mimicked as “ticktock, ticktock.” Wow!
That someone cares enough about text to notice something like this really gives me pleasure. It’s true craftsmanship.
A big thank you to all my beta readers for caring enough about text to lend their keen eye to my book! Jumping Over Shadows is better already, thanks to you!
Admittedly, I'm not certain I'd have caught tick tack!
Yep, it's fine point.
Isn't that something? I remember a French language textbook from high school describing the ring of a phone as "drin drin." I thought it was hilarious at the time, since in English we say "ring ring." I probably would have let "tick tack" pass in a proofread, assuming it was the German way.