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Jay Cantrell: Blog

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Looking for a proofreader

April 23, 2015
Posted at 1:50 pm

Hi all,

My next effort, the sequel to Unending Night, is almost ready to hit SOL. All it lacks is another set of eyes on it before I start to post.

That's where I've run into a problem.

I've become spoiled over the past few years. I've been fortunate to have two very talented men look over my work before posting. BlackIrish has handled the chore of dredging through my sometimes muddled muck and Zoltan The Duck has done yeoman's work in fixing the missing or misused punctuation, grammar and form.

BlackIrish has done his part but, because of circumstances beyond his control, Zoltan is unavailable. So I'm coming, hat in hand, to the kind readers of SOL to see if someone is interested in giving the story another read to ensure its ready.

The editing is done so it's just a matter of removing extraneous commas (or adding them) and making sure I didn't use "their" when I meant "there" or "they're."

I'm content with the plot and the flow of the story. I'm not looking for an editor, just someone to double check for silly mistakes.

Sounds simple, right?

Not so fast. As I said, I've become spoiled.

BlackIrish catches 99.9 percent of the mistakes - but when you're dealing with me that still leaves a goodly amount uncaught.

The truth is, I rarely even look at the files after I get them back from Zoltan. Oh, sure, I might check the spelling but it is rare that I even do that. Part of is laziness. I readily confess that much. But the bigger part is the level of trust I have in him.

This requires someone familiar with the … let's call them stylistic nuances … of my stories. I use Associated Press style - because that is what my background taught me. That means I spell adviser with an -er and not an -or. It means I don't use a closing quotation mark at the end of a paragraph if the same speaker is still talking.

I also need someone that can work with text files preformatted for SOL. I have already set up the chapters with the spacing and a few codes and, well, it is my least favorite part of the entire process so I don't want to do it again.

Now the worst part: The story is long. It is 116 chapters broken up into six parts. The timeframe is flexible but I would prefer to have at least the Part I (Chapters 1-19) back within six to eight weeks with a three or four more chapters coming back each week afterward.

I generally post four chapters each week and because I use a serialized format I don't like to leave readers hanging for a month or two unless it is absolutely unavoidable.

So, if you have experience in proofreader - professionally or for SOL - and you have time to donate to this project, please send me an e-mail.

Jay C.