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Sending authors messages about typos and tips

Keet

I read in a blog post where an author thanked many readers that send messages about typos and tips.

Do authors really like getting these messages? I can imagine getting dozens of messages with the same typo, not to say what happens with more typos.

Do you appreciate typo-reports for older/finished stories or just for the ongoing stories?

Until now I have stayed away from sending such messages (except for one where a typo ruined the html formatting) because I don't know who does and who doesn't appreciate it.

How about tips, tricks, other information that could help a story? Personally I feel that I should leave that to the author, which I am not. Perhaps if some technical piece of text is wrong and i have the correct knowledge, would that be appreciated?

Switch Blayde

@Keet

As an author, I want to be told about typos. I edit so much I don't have many, but some errors occur and I want to fix them.

As a reader, if the story is filled with errors I don't send a message. But if there's an occasional typo or grammar problem I'll let the author know.

As to "How about tips, tricks, other information that could help a story?" sure, I'm all ears. How else do you learn?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

It's kind of like a song:

Some authors do, and some don't.
Some will reply, and some won't.

I like to be told about real typos, but not those due to educational variations. I just delete the messages that say GB spelling is wrong unless I state at the start of the story I'm using US English. I know of some authors who don't directly reply to such messages, but they will make the corrections, and some will blog about them.

On the other hand, I have had some authors send me abusive messages when I told them of a typo. You just take a chance, and if they don't respond in a bad way you send any more you see of theirs.

I will frequently re-post stories to fix typos because I like to have the stories to be as good as I can make them.

BTW: I have a huge list of typos in Ed's New Life I've yet to process and re-post, so you can leave that one alone for now.

.........

As to story content. That's trickier. I did change one story where a reader told me I was sending someone to the wrong hospital due to me having some wrong information about the hospital. I thanked the person for telling me about the error. Some authors will fix such things, and some won't.

Replies:   Ross at Play  Keet
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

Some authors do, and some don't.

The system provides authors with options to allow or disallow messages from readers.

My initial assumption is that authors want feedback if they allow messages. If they don't send a courteous reply to one I conclude they do not.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Ross at Play

My initial assumption is that authors want feedback if they allow messages. If they don't send a courteous reply to one I conclude they do not.

So, it's safe to assume that an author who allows messages from readers also appreciates them?

I don't need a reply if I send a typo-report, I'd rather see the typo corrected in a reasonable amount of time.
I imagine that if an author has to reply to each typo-report, he's too busy with email while he could be writing. ;)

Keet

@Ernest Bywater

As to story content. That's trickier. I did change one story where a reader told me I was sending someone to the wrong hospital due to me having some wrong information about the hospital. I thanked the person for telling me about the error. Some authors will fix such things, and some won't.

That's the sort of message I meant where I (or another reader) has specialized knowledge to correct mistakes in a story. I understand that not all authors will change the mistake but I think it's the better author who verifies and does fix the mistake.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Keet

So, it's safe to assume that an author who allows messages from readers also appreciates them?

I don't know about safe. Authors have been known to send readers their own "feedback". :(

I imagine that if an author has to reply to each typo-report, he's too busy with email while he could be writing.

You'd be surprised. A lot of authors here have a policy of responding to every reader who contacts them. That group probably overlaps a lot with the authors who take most care to correct typos and other errors before posting.

Replies:   Keet
Keet
Updated:

@Ross at Play

Is don't know about safe. Authors have been known to send their "feedback" to readers too. :(

I there a way to find out if an author appreciates a typo-report? (From some I know because I read some blog posts but from others I don't.)

You'd be surprised. A lot of authors here have a policy of responding to every reader who contacts them. That group probably overlaps a lot with the authors who take most care to correct typos and other errors before posting.

That would work multiple ways: More attention to typos up front -> less typos -> less mail with a typo-report -> less mail to respond to.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I like getting feedback, especially anything which I was unaware of. That said, they only things which really get annoying, quickly, is when I accidentally post the wrong chapter, and then immediately get twenty messages informing me of the exact same chapter. Once I address five of them, usually changing each response to the individual, I feel wrung out. But then, it's better being informed twenty times then never being informed even once!

As for 'tips or tricks', often times someone will convey specific information that I wasn't aware of, and those often result in whole chapters/sections in a sequel, as I 'play' the information out the in the story. So don't think authors aren't interested in seemingly unrelated details.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Crumbly Writer

But then, it's better being informed twenty times then never being informed even once!

Authors should inform readers that they will not reply to typo-reports (there's sometimes just too many) but will reply to well meaning other types of support. Would that work?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Uther_Pendragon

@Keet

Generally I like typo reports. I try to be correct.
Somebody wrote about the mistakes I made in French in my recent Brennan story. I asked him for more responses on later chapters.

Sometimes writing on SOL feels like shouting into the void. ANY response is welcome. If it's purely negative, that counteracts the welcome, but I'm prone to argue.

OTOH, these characters live in my head; I generally do not follow suggestions of substantive changes. Sometimes, I resent them, but that's because of the form they take. I've had many suggestions about having one or the other Brennan cheat. I take that as censorship. The standard for SOL and for ASSTR is that married people cheat; adding cheating to one of the few faithful couples is suppressing the divergent.

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

So, it's safe to assume that an author who allows messages from readers also appreciates them?

It's largely hit or miss. While some actively fix typos, or seek differing opinions, others either want to be left alone entirely, or only want to hear positive reinforcement.

You generally have to feel out each individual author. I'll generally send one or two correction and see whether the author responds. If not, I remember and never bother pointing thing out to them again. For those that do, I'll then send a few more typos which I held back on before, asking if they want more.

That's how I often find new editors. That back and forth is how I determine whether someone has a good feel the for language, and 'gets' the ideas that I trying to convey. If they consistently suggest changes which I agree with, I'll invite them to edit the upcoming chapter, and then the next book (if they want).

However, you should also remember that not every author responds immediately, especially if they're not currently posting a story. So it may take them a few days to respond.

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

Authors should inform readers that they will not reply to typo-reports (there's sometimes just too many) but will reply to well meaning other types of support. Would that work?

I find that it's best to ALWAYS respond, otherwise readers will assume that the author doesn't want to be bothered. So if I can't use a particular suggestion, I'll explain why. And if I have to modify the suggestion to get it to fit a particular story, I'll include the version which I went with, and explain why I went the different route.

I think readers being involved like that, so they can SEE how their contributions affect the finished product. Plus, as I've said, sometimes two or three entire chapters in a sequel will be the result of a 'casual suggestion' by a single author. Typically, those readers get a free print version of the book as well.

Replies:   Keet
Ross at Play

@Keet

I there a way to find out if an author appreciates a typo-report? (From some I know because I read some blog posts but from others I don't.)

I would not let the potential for a negative reaction dissuade me from making a first contact with an author. Then just see how they react.

I'd strongly encourage newer authors to do that. If you establish a rapport with an established author they may be willing and able to help you in the future. Most of the experienced authors are very willing: after all, aren't we all a little pleased to have our egos stroked by someone asking for our advice?

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Crumbly Writer

I find that it's best to ALWAYS respond

Doesn't that take an awful lot of time? I'm sure it is appreciated, I would appreciate a reply. But for just one or two typo's I don't expect it.

I think readers being involved like that, so they can SEE how their contributions affect the finished product.

Yes, with that type of messages I would expect a reply too. So, it is just wait and see if a specific author is willing to do something with it or at least respond with a reason why not.

Keet

@Ross at Play

I would not let the potential for a negative reaction dissuade me from making a first contact with an author. Then just see how they react.

Oh, I'm not afraid of a negative response, I've got a very slippery back so load it up and it just glides down and away. It's more that I just don't want to bother someone if they don't like it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Keet

So, it is just wait and see if a specific author is willing to do something with it

Not all authors are the same. I'm not ever sure they all live on the same planet. :-)

Replies:   Keet
Keet
Updated:

@Ross at Play

Not all authors are the same. I'm not ever sure they all live on the same planet. :-)

Oh I know there's no two authors that are the same, thankfully. It would give a rather poor variation in stories too. I think that most authors that participate in this forum would welcome messages, I just don't know about the other authors.

Replies:   AmigaClone
tendertouch

As others have said, some authors appreciate it and some don't. I reposted multiple chapters multiple times due to reader feedback. Probably couldn't do that now since I don't think I have the files any longer.

I've had other authors, though, be almost abusive when I point to an error. One author of some really good stories who has a blind spot for 'lose' -vs- 'loose' killfiled me. Another author (who is no longer on this site) did the same for pointing out that 'hansom' is not the same as 'handsome'. But most authors seem to be OK with it. Whether they actually make changes is another matter altogether.

Keet

@tendertouch

I've had other authors, though, be almost abusive when I point to an error. One author of some really good stories who has a blind spot for 'lose' -vs- 'loose' killfiled me. Another author (who is no longer on this site) did the same for pointing out that 'hansom' is not the same as 'handsome'. But most authors seem to be OK with it. Whether they actually make changes is another matter altogether.

As I have mentioned, I'm not afraid of a negative response, as long as it's in a civil way. I'm a strange person (yes, I am) so an abusive reply would make me publish that here openly to have other readers/authors avoid that author for sending messages and get the same abuse. I'm a very gentle person in general but bite me...
I see nothing wrong with praising authors that care to make a connection with readers, even if that's negative in a civilized way, and I see nothing wrong with publicly black listing abusive repliers.

Ernest helped me out the other day in the most amazing way that took him a lot of effort so I have seen the positive side and now I see in this thread there are a lot more authors that think positive.

Has anyone noticed that not a single post in this thread (yet) mentions that the author does not want messages?

Replies:   REP
Michael Loucks

@Keet

Do authors really like getting these messages? I can imagine getting dozens of messages with the same typo, not to say what happens with more typos.

Do you appreciate typo-reports for older/finished stories or just for the ongoing stories?


I absolutely want to hear from people about typos, grammar, punctuation, or other errors. When they provide feedback, I update the chapter and upload it again.

When I do get duplicate reports, I thank the second (or third or fourth) person to let me know as if I had not received the error report because I don't want to discourage reporting!

Funny thing, too, despite literally thousands of eyeballs, including a very, very good editor, a formal proofreader, three informal proofreaders, my Patrons, AND early release readers, errors are still found in things which have been available on SOL for years. :-(

Replies:   Keet  Crumbly Writer
Keet

@Michael Loucks

When I do get duplicate reports, I thank the second (or third or fourth) person to let me know as if I had not received the error report because I don't want to discourage reporting!

But what when you get dozens of reports about the same error? Of course it means you have a lot attentive readers, so that's a plus, but still. With a 1000+ readers and 3 typos over the last 2 uploads you could be looking at a lot of email. Has that ever happened?

Banadin

I now collect typos and other errors for a week, make corrections and repost. Seldom get more after the first week. Have to re-edit my old stories. I don't respond to typo emails but other thoughts yes. These can be factual errors or new information. I think of all my readers as beta readers.

Replies:   Keet
Switch Blayde

@Keet

That's the sort of message I meant where I (or another reader) has specialized knowledge to correct mistakes in a story.


That's like the reader who told me the 737 is not made of steel but aluminum. I made that change.

But another reader told me police do not outline dead bodies as they do in movies. I did not make that change. I left the outline because if it's good enough for Hollywood for impact, it's good enough for me in my story.

Replies:   Keet  Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@Keet

Doesn't that take an awful lot of time? I'm sure it is appreciated, I would appreciate a reply. But for just one or two typo's I don't expect it.


It takes the reader time too. I always respond, and most times thank them for taking the time to send the feedback.

AmigaClone

@Keet

I know there's no two authors that are the same


It's possible that the same author might use different pen names though.

REP

@Keet

Do you appreciate typo-reports for older/finished stories or just for the ongoing stories?


I want my mistakes pointed out to me regardless of how old the story is.

Think of it this way - all authors make errors. Authors who take pride in what they write don't want errors in their stories so they take steps to eliminate errors. Some errors are missed. Stories containing errors reflect badly on the author. By correcting errors, the subsequent readers will be more willing to read your future stories.

There are a few authors on this site who are good story tellers. I don't read their stories because in places I become frustrated due to being jerked out of the story by typos, words missing from a sentence, inappropriate words left in a sentence, and non-standard word order.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Banadin

I think of all my readers as beta readers.

That's a good way of looking at it when readers report typos. I agree with not responding to just typo errors, but that's me. I read here that other authors feel that those also deserve a reply.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Keet

@Switch Blayde

That's like the reader who told me the 737 is not made of steel but aluminum.

Whatever made you think they were made out of steel? A 737 of steel wouldn't even get of the ground.

But another reader told me police do not outline dead bodies as they do in movies. I did not make that change. I left the outline because if it's good enough for Hollywood for impact, it's good enough for me in my story.

That's good judgment and of course there's always your artistic freedom.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
REP

@Keet

Has anyone noticed that not a single post in this thread (yet) mentions that the author does not want messages?


Probably because we are focusing on authors who enable feedback. It is understood that an author who disables feedback doesn't want feedback.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@REP

Stories containing errors reflect badly on the author. By correcting errors, the subsequent readers will be more willing to read your future stories.

I mentioned that in another thread that discussed a possible list for updates. Less errors makes SOL better too because of a better quality of stories.

Keet

@REP

Probably because we are focusing on authors who enable feedback. It is understood that an author who disables feedback doesn't want feedback.

Of course, logical too. But what about authors that don't disable but still don't want typo messages, just "other" messages.

REP

@Keet

Possibly, but not normally. Out of a 1,000 readers, many do not consciously notice a typo; they just keep reading. Of those who notice the error, only a small percentage will go to the effort necessary to report it to you.

Replies:   Keet
PrincelyGuy

I think something useful would be for authors to put a statement in their profile they WANT or DO NOT WANT comments and suggestions on their stories. Seldom have I seen anything like that.

Sometimes I wonder if feedback like that is appreciated, especially if there is no response.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Keet

still don't want typo messages, just "other" messages.


The only way to minimize typo messages is to tell the reader you don't want them. When you do that, readers are likely to interpret your statement as you needing your ego stroked.

Keet

@REP

Of those who notice the error, only a small percentage will go to the effort necessary to report it to you.

From now on I will report typos to those here that expressed they want to receive a typo-report.
Is there a preferred format that would work for most authors? I was thinking about story-title/chapter/part of the sentence with the error and then mentioning what specif error was detected.
Would that be enough?

robberhands

@Keet

Less errors makes SOL better too because of a better quality of stories.

Do you think SOL would be a better story site if only stories without mistakes would be published?

There is borderline to sanity and when you cross it you get to insanity. I receive mails from people who point out mistakes to me. I thank them and correct the mistake. Are those mails my favorate kind of feedback? No.

Replies:   Keet
Ross at Play

@Keet

Here's an error YOU may not want. :-)

But what about authors that ...

I do not use 'that' when referring to people, vessels, some animals, ...
I always use 'who' instead.

Replies:   Keet  robberhands
Keet

@robberhands

Do you think SOL would be a better story site if only stories without mistakes would be published?

There are no stories without mistakes, not even in print. But with errors less is better.

There is borderline to sanity and when you cross it you get to insanity. I receive mails from people who point out mistakes to me. I thank them and correct the mistake. Are those mails my favorate kind of feedback? No.

Of course these are not the messages you want, they point out errors, nothing wrong with not liking those messages, it's only logical.

Keet

@Ross at Play

I do not use 'that' when referring to people, vessels, some animals, ...
I always use 'who' instead.

Thanks for the typo-report. You are right, it should be 'who' and I know that. See how easy a mistake can slip into a text. Thankfully I'm not an author, I couldn't do what you writers do.

PrincelyGuy
Updated:

@Keet

The feedback mechanism shows which story and chapter the feedback is being provided for. I usually use the following format and have not received feedback showing a better way.

================================

Original text in the story

Corrected text in the story

NOTE: Provided when needed

ETA: Wow, not sure where the quote came from. I removed it.

================================

Jack and jill whent up the hill

Jack and Jill went up the hill

================================

Replies:   Keet  REP
REP

@Keet

Is there a preferred format that would work for most authors?

I start the message with any comments about enjoying the story that are appropriate and a comment to the effect that I noted the following.

That is followed by identification of the chapter(s) and for each chapter a listing of the error(s).

For each error, I paste the segment of text containing the error followed by a dash and an explanation of the error. I use a similar format to make suggestions.

Replies:   Keet
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Keet

Thankfully I'm not an author, I couldn't do what you writers do.

I'm basically a failed author myself: a total of 4K words posted in over two years. I waste my life as an editor, and here. You know what they say ... those who can't do, preach.

Replies:   Keet  Crumbly Writer
Keet

@PrincelyGuy

The feedback mechanism shows which story and chapter the feedback is being provided for. I usually use the following format and have not received feedback showing a better way.

================================
Original text in the story

Corrected text in the story

NOTE: Provided when needed
================================
Jack and jill whent up the hill

Jack and Jill went up the hill
================================

Thank you, that looks very clear. I didn't now what the feedback system provided. Now I just have to remember to use the "Feedback to author" link at the bottom of the chapter and not the mail link on the authors story list page.

REP
Updated:

@PrincelyGuy


shows which story and chapter the feedback is being provided for.


Not quite accurate. It shows the chapter from which you sent the feedback message.

When I read I accumulate typos reports on multiple chapters and then send a consolidated message from the last chapter read.

My feedback would be:

Jack and jill whent up the hill - Jill went

That makes the mistake easier to see. When I first read your example, I missed 'jill'.

Replies:   Keet  PrincelyGuy
robberhands

@Ross at Play

I do not use 'that' when referring to people, vessels, some animals, ...
I always use 'who' instead.

"Wasn't that the Prime Minister who just walked by?"

"No. Who walked by, was the Prime Minister."

"Hu?"

"Yes. The Prime Minister is always a who."

Replies:   Ross at Play  PotomacBob
Keet

@REP

That is followed by identification of the chapter(s) and for each chapter a listing of the error(s).

For each error, I paste the segment of text containing the error followed by a dash and an explanation of the error. I use a similar format to make suggestions.

That's much like what what PrincelyGuy suggested. And it's natural to first show appreciation for the story I'm reading.

Keet

@Ross at Play

I'm basically a failed author myself: a total of 4K words posted in over two years. I waste my life as an editor, and here. You know what they say ... those who can't do, preach.

I have learned on this forum how incredibly important editors are so don't say you failed, you just switched jobs, one no less important then the other.

Keet

@REP

When I read I accumulate typos reports on multiple chapters and then send a consolidated message from the last chapter read.

I didn't think of that. Accumulating would be better then a message for each typo (hoping there aren't too many). So back to listing story and chapter for reach error found.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play
Updated:

@robberhands

"Wasn't that the Prime Minister who just walked by?"

"Hu?"

"No. Hu Jintao is the Party Chairman."

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands
Updated:

@Ross at Play

Good. You realized the syloppy mistake.

Replies:   PotomacBob
Switch Blayde

@Keet

Whatever made you think they were made out of steel? A 737 of steel wouldn't even get of the ground.


I never gave it any thought while writing. This is the paragraph. The 737 just crashed into the ocean. Mike is the pilot. He got everyone into the raft and was about to join the others.

Mike handed the oars down to Dad and then turned on his hands and knees with his butt towards us, lowering his right leg, letting it dangle in the air. Dad reached for it, but the jet pitched. Mike fell out. Everything would have been fine if his face hadn't smashed into the hard metal. He fell into Dad's waiting arms, knocking Dad onto his back with Mike on top. All I saw was a bloody mess where his face had been.


"Hard metal" was originally "hard steel." I was just thinking of his face smashing into something hard. I automatically wrote "steel" without thinking of what a jet was made of.

Switch Blayde

@Keet

But what about authors that don't disable but still don't want typo messages, just "other" messages.


I've seen notes in stories where the author says he doesn't care about typos and isn't bothered by them. Interestingly, those stories don't seem to have typos.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Switch Blayde

"Hard metal" was originally "hard steel." I was just thinking of his face smashing into something hard. I automatically wrote "steel" without thinking of what a jet was made of.

A totally understandable mistake in that context. I doubt that I would have seen it even though I know most planes are plated with aluminum.

Keet

@Switch Blayde

I've seen notes in stories where the author says he doesn't care about typos and isn't bothered by them. Interestingly, those stories don't seem to have typos.

I have seen that too and I still find it strange. There's no such thing as "no typos" unless it's a 5 word story that has gone through 4 editors and proofreaders. Same as there is no software without bugs.

Replies:   helmut_meukel
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Keet

Answering the question in the OP to you, personally, as opposed to what readers should in general do, as I have above, I suggest you could offer to proofread stories for authors whose stories you enjoy, but which have some technical issues.

I have been very impressed by the technical correctness of your posts here. I'm sure you'd be a better proofreader than many of those who currently offer their services here.

Replies:   Keet
PrincelyGuy

@REP

I missed 'jill'.


I have been considering using the Bold function to highlight changed words to make it easier to spot. Cannot remember now if that is a valid function in feedback or not.

Keet

@Ross at Play

I have been very impressed by the technical correctness of your posts here. I'm sure you'd be better at proofreading than many of those who currently offer their services here.

Thank you, I try. The problem is I'm UK English educated so my knowledge of the other English languages is limited. For the posts here I use the automatic spell checking extensively. You know, those pesky red curly lines. Then there is my personal problem of attention deficiency among a host of other problems. I'm willing to try but I can't guarantee continuity which is essential for an author who wants to post on a schedule. Maybe as one of multiple proofreaders that wouldn't be such a problem.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@PrincelyGuy

Cannot remember now if that is a valid function in feedback or not.

I just sent a test SOL mail message to myself.

The same commands for bold and italics work in the editor for mail messages as here on the forums ...
b then /b, both in angle brackets gives bold. Similarly i then /i for italics.

PrincelyGuy

@Ross at Play

b then /b, both in angle brackets gives bold. Similarly i then /i for italics.


Thank you. I appreciate the information.

Ross at Play

@Keet

Then there is my personal problem of attention deficiency among a host of other problems.

I fail to cope with various problems too.

You may be better suited to work with authors who complete the writing of their stories before posting them.

I think you'd do the greatest good to the greatest number by working with good storyteller who obviously don't have a decent editor already. Some authors don't really care, but I'm sure some would very much appreciate help, even if it came later than they preferred.

You could post an advertisement for yourself on the Editors/Reviewers Hangout.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Ross at Play

You could post an advertisement for yourself on the Editors/Reviewers Hangout.

I have to think about that. I do have the time and because of a lot of my problems I read a lot. I do seem to detect a lot of the little typos.

REP

@PrincelyGuy

The feedback system doesn't support character formatting.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@REP

The feedback system doesn't support character formatting.

I tested it by sending myself an email. Underline and asterisk didn't work, but commands in angle brackets (like the forums) did work.

PrincelyGuy

Yes the pointy ones work. < > I sent a feedback message to REP and my sent email shows that bold, underline and italics worked.

The standard braces for HTML coding did not work. { }

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@PrincelyGuy

The standard braces for HTML coding did not work. { }


< > is HTML. { } is SOL.

Replies:   PrincelyGuy
Crumbly Writer

@Keet

I find that it's best to ALWAYS respond

Doesn't that take an awful lot of time? I'm sure it is appreciated, I would appreciate a reply. But for just one or two typo's I don't expect it.

Actually, it doesn't take that much, and the time it does take is usually 'busywork' time when I'm otherwise unable to work on stories (kinda like the time I spend in the Forum). I do most of my writing either in the evening, or occasionally when I stay up late into the night and no one disturbs me.

Yes, with that type of messages I would expect a reply too. So, it is just wait and see if a specific author is willing to do something with it or at least respond with a reason why not.

Most of us who do respond will respond fairly quickly, but if we're not currently posting, we may not be checking that particular mailbox often. Also, since I don't check the SOL mailbox system regularly, I often miss messages as it only sends me a single 'You've received a message on SOL' once a day (i.e. if I get six in one day, I might end up missing five until I check the messages on SOL for some other reason).

So yeah, even for those of us who check often, many times we don't keep up because of the way the messages are delivered. Also, there are vacations, mental breakdowns, running away for affairs and hiding out from the police and/or kids. 'D

PotomacBob

@robberhands

"Hu?"


Somebody sent me a photograph, I guess it was last year during baseball season. The caption on the photo was "It finally happened! Abbott and Costello were right." The photo showed a guy with the name "Hu" on the back of his uniform. He was standing on first base.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
PotomacBob

@robberhands

syloppy mistake.


Not all mistakes are syloppy. Most of us are simply unable to see the mistakes we type, because what we see in our minds is what we meant to write.

PotomacBob

@Switch Blayde

My folks always called airplanes "big iron birds."

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

Oh, I'm not afraid of a negative response, I've got a very slippery back so load it up and it just glides down and away. It's more that I just don't want to bother someone if they don't like it.

It's not a question of whether they like it or not. If they don't want to hear from readers, then they'll disable feedback and messages. What's more common is if an author only wants glowing, positive affirmations, or has decided that his past stories are history, and is no longer interested in cleaning them up.

Those are the more problematic cases, as the author might respond, but still won't be very happy about it.

For me, though, if someone cares about their reputation, they'll respond to complaints (typos, wrong information, mis-postings, etc.) or suggestions (asking for things, suggesting new directions or simply wanting information about where the story is going). But, you've got to remember, as Ross says, each author is different, and some of us are a bit anti-social (i.e. that's spelled "rabid").

Replies:   Keet
Crumbly Writer

@tendertouch

But most authors seem to be OK with it. Whether they actually make changes is another matter altogether.

One thing you'll see is that, while most will fix a typo right away, some will merely add it to their 'to do list' and won't update the chapter in question until they have a BUNCH of updates (possibly some months later). Now those are a frustrating bunch, as you think they're going to address an issue, yet they never seem to get around to it, yet never address the delay.

Replies:   Keet
Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

Funny thing, too, despite literally thousands of eyeballs, including a very, very good editor, a formal proofreader, three informal proofreaders, my Patrons, AND early release readers, errors are still found in things which have been available on SOL for years.

New eyes for old works are not only welcomed, but they're wonderful for seeing things all the OLD eyes have missed!

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

But what when you get dozens of reports about the same error? Of course it means you have a lot attentive readers, so that's a plus, but still. With a 1000+ readers and 3 typos over the last 2 uploads you could be looking at a lot of email. Has that ever happened?

IF it gets bad enough, instead of responding individually to each one, you instead post a blog message about it, and/or add a post the the story comments about it. That way, even readers who don't follow an author's blog will eventually find it if they're wondering why the author hasn't yet responded to them. :(

Replies:   Keet
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

But another reader told me police do not outline dead bodies as they do in movies. I did not make that change. I left the outline because if it's good enough for Hollywood for impact, it's good enough for me in my story.

In that case, I would change it, but I'd change it from chalk to a big RED steel crayon! ;D

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

I think of all my readers as beta readers.

That's a good way of looking at it when readers report typos. I agree with not responding to just typo errors, but that's me. I read here that other authors feel that those also deserve a reply.

I instead look at them as consumers, who invested considering time and energy, not just in reading your work, but also in voicing their opinion and considering how best to respond. As such, they deserve to know that you, an author, care not only about their opinion, but about the quality of your work.

As for beta-readers, I like to put them through the ringer, telling them WHAT I want to know about the story, and possibly even including a questionaire to respond to about it. For me, beta-readers aren't passive, but have to do serious work for the task, as I look to them for very specific answers about a story (i.e. whether this technique works or not, whether character G is likeable or not, or whether you BUY this premise or not).

Luckily, I don't put many through that experience! 'D

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

I mentioned that in another thread that discussed a possible list for updates. Less errors makes SOL better too because of a better quality of stories.

Someone also mentioned beta readers. I've seen other authors trying to form beta-reader groups (people who volunteer to read early versions of stories to see which things they either don't like or can't quite understand). I'm wondering whether maybe we should have a beta-reader group of volunteers on SOL. If so, though, I have no idea how it might be run.

Crumbly Writer

@PrincelyGuy

I think something useful would be for authors to put a statement in their profile they WANT or DO NOT WANT comments and suggestions on their stories. Seldom have I seen anything like that.

Personally, I'd prefer a flag, triggered when you first post a story, asking whether you'll respond to messages or not, so that, when someone goes to send a message, it'll say something like "This author only accepts positive praise" or "This author accepts anything, including death threats". However, that would be difficult to implement, and harder to enforce—especially as authors get older and run into health issues preventing them from responding.

Replies:   Keet
Crumbly Writer

@Keet

Is there a preferred format that would work for most authors? I was thinking about story-title/chapter/part of the sentence with the error and then mentioning what specif error was detected.
Would that be enough?

For typos, I've found the best approach is to list the story title and chapter, and then include the full (or significant part) so an author can FIND the typo. Often, someone will simply say "you misspelled xxx" without specifying HOW you misspelled it, or where it occurred in the story. :(

It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

Added a suggested change helps too, as it often helps us understand why you think the usage was erroneous, as it's sometimes not obvious, as in the case of serial commas or alternate spellings.

Replies:   Keet
Crumbly Writer

@Keet

Thankfully I'm not an author, I couldn't do what you writers do.

Part of what we authors do is what our editors have repeatedly hit us over the head to get us to STOP doing! 'D

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I'm basically a failed author myself: a total of 4K words posted in over two years. I waste my life as an editor, and here. You know what they say ... those who can't do, preach.

Two T. S. Eliot quotes seem appropriate here:

Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.

and

What profession is more trying than that of author?
After you finish a piece of work, it only seems good to you for a few weeks;
or if it seems good at all you are convinced that it is the last you will be able to write;
and if it seems bad you wonder whether everything you have done isn't poor stuff really;
and it is one kind of agony while you are writing, and another kind when you aren't.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Keet

I didn't think of that. Accumulating would be better then a message for each typo (hoping there aren't too many). So back to listing story and chapter for reach error found.

I do a variation, where I create a list of errors that bug me, but only send one or two, just to see how the author responds. If they respond positively, I'll ask if they want more. If so, I'll send them the complete list for a single chapter. Then, if they're still interested, we'll talk. 'D

But yeah, telling them you like the story is a must, but it also helps if you go a little further, pointing out precisely what you appreciate about their writing (i.e. "I love you dialogues and the way you build suspense, although you can work a little more on your punctuation").

Advice is always easier to swallow is it's not all negative.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

"Hard metal" was originally "hard steel." I was just thinking of his face smashing into something hard. I automatically wrote "steel" without thinking of what a jet was made of.

If he fell out, you could use "DUCK!". During flight they're dangerous and cause several plane crashes. In a raft, they often blindside you, knocking you over. Even worse, they steal all your corn with nothing but a Quack or two in thanks.

Replies:   richardshagrin
Crumbly Writer

@PrincelyGuy

I have been considering using the Bold function to highlight changed words to make it easier to spot. Cannot remember now if that is a valid function in feedback or not.

That's what we used to do with emailed messages. Now, with the SOL messaging system, you have to capitalize them instead. :(

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I just sent a test SOL mail message to myself.

The same commands for bold and italics work in the editor for mail messages as here on the forums ...

Good to know. Since the box doesn't say anything about what's allowable, I've always assumed it doesn't support those functions. I KNOW it doesn't support many of the things that SOL does (like em-dashes and ellises (which it converts to three dots).

PrincelyGuy

@Switch Blayde

< > is HTML. { } is SOL.


Dang it. I know that. So why did I screw it up? I blame old age and not thinking it over. I even have a piece of paper in front of me saying SOL uses that format for HTML codes.

I iz a dweeb.

Replies:   REP
REP

@PrincelyGuy

I iz a dweeb.


We all have our moments, both good and bad.

Replies:   PrincelyGuy
PrincelyGuy

@REP

Mine are coming more and more frequently. Now where did I put my beer....

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Reluctant_Sir
Updated:

@Keet

I like them, generally.

I qualified that statement because there are a couple of types of regular 'would-be-editors'

The "Hey, I noticed this. Thought I would let you know, loving the story"

Like these folks, they are trying to be helpful and let you know that the typo didn't kill the enjoyment.

Then there is the "Why bother posting a story with a typo in it, it kills the flow and totally takes me out of the moment. Here, you idiot, fix this."

Just... go away.

Last, is the "I am not going to read your current story, I am going to play archaeologist and dig up an old one and, rather than send you a list of all the typos and errors, I am going to spam your email box with fifty emails, one error per, all while refusing to actually discuss anything. No, I won't even be an editor for you."

This person, and there has been more than one, I just feel bad for. I will thank them randomly but mostly ignore.

Tech advice is welcome. While I try to research stuff I am uncertain about, I don't claim that google makes me an expert. Fix me, baby!

Replies:   Keet  Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.

Thanks. I'm in good company.

I blame you, BTW. You were the one who suggested to me that doing some editing would improve my writing skills. :-)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Michael Loucks

@Keet

But what when you get dozens of reports about the same error? Of course it means you have a lot attentive readers, so that's a plus, but still. With a 1000+ readers and 3 typos over the last 2 uploads you could be looking at a lot of email. Has that ever happened?


That's why I post corrections as quickly as possible! :-) I've never received more than four reports for the same error, and it doesn't bother me, nor would six or eight or ten bother me. But that's just me.

Replies:   Keet  Crumbly Writer
richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

nothing but a Quack or two

You can always get Quacker Oats.

I think a lot of the jet engines are hard steel.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@PotomacBob

The photo showed a guy with the name "Hu" on the back of his uniform.


There's a Korean baseball player traded to the Colorado Rockies. His name is Seunghwan Oh. He wore 2 different numbers on previous teams. Both were taken. So he chose 18.

On the back of his jersey is his last name (Oh) and under that the number 18.

The actual translation is not the problem, but the pronunciation. The number eighteen is pronounced Ship-pal. While a Korean could probably pronounce it correctly, our poor Anglo vocal cords are wired a little differently. Unfortunately, if you say this number with even the slightest error in pronunciation, it sounds an awful lot like the F-word in Korean (shi-bal / 씨발).

So when you read the back of his jersey, it's, "Oh fuck."

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@PrincelyGuy

Mine are coming more and more frequently. Now where did I put my beer....


It gets worse.

"Those beers were good. Now where the hell is the toilet?"

Replies:   Keet  richardshagrin
Keet

@Crumbly Writer

What's more common is if an author only wants glowing, positive affirmations, or has decided that his past stories are history, and is no longer interested in cleaning them up.

Those are the more problematic cases, as the author might respond, but still won't be very happy about it.

Yes, I guess those are the ones I would like to identify to avoid. If an author can't appreciate a message with well meaning criticism besides positive feedback I don't want to send him any messages at all. I'll have to find out by trial and error.

Keet

@Crumbly Writer

One thing you'll see is that, while most will fix a typo right away, some will merely add it to their 'to do list' and won't update the chapter in question until they have a BUNCH of updates (possibly some months later). Now those are a frustrating bunch, as you think they're going to address an issue, yet they never seem to get around to it, yet never address the delay.

If I find an author doesn't do anything with a typo report I would just stop sending them. Not after a week, but several months later and nothing changed? No more reports.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Keet

@Crumbly Writer

add a post the the story comments

I didn't think of the story comments. That's a good place to reach many more readers than the blog if necessary.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Keet

@Crumbly Writer

Personally, I'd prefer a flag, triggered when you first post a story, asking whether you'll respond to messages or not, so that, when someone goes to send a message, it'll say something like "This author only accepts positive praise" or "This author accepts anything, including death threats". However, that would be difficult to implement, and harder to enforce—especially as authors get older and run into health issues preventing them from responding.

Such a flag seems a good idea although I don't expect many authors to set a flag "This author only accepts positive praise". But a flag that says "Messages welcome but not typo reports" could save both reader and author some headaches. That would almost say the same if you think about it.

Keet

@Crumbly Writer

Often, someone will simply say "you misspelled xxx" without specifying HOW you misspelled it, or where it occurred in the story. :(

That seems like a useless report to me. Why report a type and not identify and locate it? Maybe some readers think authors have all their stories completely in memory ;)

as it's sometimes not obvious, as in the case of serial commas or alternate spellings.

Ah, the dreaded ", and ". I still see every one of those as wrong because that is a big no-no in my language (Dutch). I understand from discussion here in the forum the difference between using the comma or not but it still looks like an error to me.

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Keet

@Reluctant_Sir

This person, and there has been more than one, I just feel bad for. I will thank them randomly but mostly ignore.

That's exactly the person I don't want to be and one of the reasons why I posted the question in the first place.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Keet

@Michael Loucks

That's why I post corrections as quickly as possible! :-) I've never received more than four reports for the same error, and it doesn't bother me, nor would six or eight or ten bother me. But that's just me.

Those numbers are manageable, I wondered about that.

Keet

@Switch Blayde


It gets worse.

"Those beers were good. Now where the hell is the toilet?"

You see, there is a positive side on being a little autistic. I put everything always in the same spot, minimalistic, organized, so no problem in finding things.
A beer only has two possible place: the refrigerator or right in front of me ;)

helmut_meukel

@tendertouch

Another author [...] did the same for pointing out that 'hansom' is not the same as 'handsome'.


Hmm, in those cases (e.g. killt vs Killed) I refrain from reporting it when it's in a conversation, assuming it's dialect.
Things like 'thorough' 'through' 'though' I always report if I care about the story.
If I start asking myself why I'm wasting my time reading this story I'll probably first cease reporting errors and finally stop reading this story with no feedback why I stopped reading.

HM.

pangor

As a reader who tends to find and report typos, I've seen both sides. Some authors are happy that they get informed, some don't care. Some fix things immediately or timely, some file them away for later. Actually, this is something I would do if I was an author: After posting a story, I would wait one or two weeks and collecting all reports - except when I would have done a major f-up.

One author made a lot of similar mistakes all over her stories, so reporting them would not make sense (I would have to report every other paragraph), so I offered to do editing for her (I really love her stories, but the unnecessary typos set me off). So far, I didn't get a reply, although she stated that she was looking for an editor.

Ross at Play

There is an alternative approach to reporting errors.

Don't read a chapter directly from the SOL site but copy it into Word or similar. Set the 'Track Changes' option. Make corrections to the text while reading as if you were editing something you'd written.

Then you can send the author an SOL message including your email address. Say that you have various suggestions for such and such a chapter, but they would need to send you their email address so you can attach your document to your reply.

You'd be surprised how many authors will not ask or never get back to you after asking for your file. But you can at least be confident they won't be rude to you about the contents of something they specifically asked for.

Keet

I found a way to check if it makes sense to send an author a typo report if you've never contacted that author before. Just check the chapters for the story and see if any are updated. If none of the chapters are updated the author most likely doesn't do updates so no use in sending a typo report.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Michael Loucks

@Keet

Ah, the dreaded ", and ". I still see every one of those as wrong because that is a big no-no in my language (Dutch). I understand from discussion here in the forum the difference between using the comma or not but it still looks like an error to me.


The Oxford comma, at least for me, ensures no ambiguity, which is why I use it. It always looks odd in my eyes when it's NOT used. :-)

Replies:   Keet  Switch Blayde
helmut_meukel

@Keet

Same as there is no software without bugs.


And they show-up after years of usage.
About 30 years ago, I maintained a custom written software for our dye recipes.
After seven years of usage a new user got an error. My first question was "What did you do?". The program was dialog driven and branched according to the entered 2-character input. This new user had entered the answer code for the next question instead the actual one and the program crashed. I looked into the code (Fortran77) and realized there was no error handling and never has been.
I included basic error handling for probable other input errors and an additional – not displayed – shortcut for this specific case.

HM.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Michael Loucks

The Oxford comma, at least for me, ensures no ambiguity, which is why I use it. It always looks odd in my eyes when it's NOT used. :-)

It all comes down to what we learned in the first place.

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Keet

@helmut_meukel

After seven years of usage a new user got an error.

The worst are the bugs that cause unexplainable behavior but don't generate an error. Windows is build with this as "features".

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Banadin
Updated:

I received 117 emails about Corvette cars not having back seats. I did not respond. Did consider using a hammer on the next Corvette I saw.

Replies:   Keet  Michael Loucks
Keet

@Banadin

I received 117 emails about Corvette cars not having back seats. I did not respond. Did consider using a hammer on the next Corvette I saw.

I can imagine that with getting 177 emails. That's one of the problems I thought that occurred with typo reporting. Apparently readers get offended if you mis-describe their favorite iron horse. Could also be that they had a Corvette and dearly missed that back seat when they had, uhmm, some use for it.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Reluctant_Sir

This person, and there has been more than one, I just feel bad for. I will thank them randomly but mostly ignore.

I've got to agree with your summation. It's all in the delivery, as the delivery sums up their entire attitude. Either they like the story, or they don't think much of it but still think you should waste your time chasing whatever nits are burrowed up their ass.

Luckily, I don't get many of those. My fans (and haters both) are pretty polite—most of the time.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I blame you, BTW. You were the one who suggested to me that doing some editing would improve my writing skills.

Well, I never suggested that you take it up as a profession, though you're tackling a job no one else sees interested in: selecting promising newbies and teaching them how to not only correct their grammar, but how to write stories correctly from the initial gate (first online post). That's often a thankless job, but I'm glad that someone is brave enough to do it.

When I first started I got too volunteer editors (Ernest was one of them) who suggested what I needed to do, how I needed to organize and how to respond to editors, and then immediately baled after getting me started (after only the second chapter).

It's nice you have to fortitude to follow them to success. Here's hoping they appreciate it.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

That's why I post corrections as quickly as possible! :-) I've never received more than four reports for the same error, and it doesn't bother me, nor would six or eight or ten bother me.

Typically, when you get dozens, it's not for a simple typo, but because you posted the wrong chapter, a chapter from the wrong book, or something utterly unreadable (non-printable characters). That's when readers start piling on.

Replies:   Keet
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

I think a lot of the jet engines are hard steel.

They'd never pass the quack test if they weren't! Steel frame bad. Steel engine blades, couldn't fly without them!

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

So when you read the back of his jersey, it's, "Oh fuck."

Sounds like something someone should use in a story. Any promising Korean SOL authors out there?

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

If I find an author doesn't do anything with a typo report I would just stop sending them. Not after a week, but several months later and nothing changed? No more reports.

That's why I try to respond immediately. I've had a couple of helpful readers who sent a couple of initial suggestions and I was unable (for one reason or another) to get back to them immediately. As a result, I got no other typos mentioned for the entire story. That's like losing a promising editor just because I'm on the road, or visiting a sick relative. :(

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

I didn't think of the story comments. That's a good place to reach many more readers than the blog if necessary.

Just as many readers never read the blog, many never read the end-of-story comments. Just as many also never read prologues or forewards. However, blogs are excellent for reaching those who've never considered you story before, and you can sometimes convince them they should give it a shot with an insightful blog entry.

Replies:   Keet
Crumbly Writer

@Keet

This person, and there has been more than one, I just feel bad for. I will thank them randomly but mostly ignore.

That's exactly the person I don't want to be and one of the reasons why I posted the question in the first place.

As I mentioned earlier, the difference between the two is usually obvious in their attitude, though it's also WHY I start off with a specific complement about their writing, just so they'll know I both read and recognize their real skills, rather than just saying "like the story, but ..."

Crumbly Writer

@pangor

One author made a lot of similar mistakes all over her stories, so reporting them would not make sense (I would have to report every other paragraph), so I offered to do editing for her (I really love her stories, but the unnecessary typos set me off). So far, I didn't get a reply, although she stated that she was looking for an editor.

If she's still making the mistakes, I'd give her a reminder. It's not uncommon for someone to get wrapped up in something else (like hitting a deadline) and forget to respond. Just say: 'I notice you're continuing to miss certain specific typos, I wouldn't mind identifying them for you if you're interested, but if not, that's fine too.'

That's nice, friendly and not too in your face. In that case, if she doesn't respond, it's clearly because she doesn't care (though if it's who I think it is, she's probably getting drilled by her editor, so she's reluctant to take on yet another hard-ass!)

Keet

@Crumbly Writer

Typically, when you get dozens, it's not for a simple typo, but because you posted the wrong chapter, a chapter from the wrong book, or something utterly unreadable (non-printable characters). That's when readers start piling on.

So if you really screwed up you get lots of emails? Makes sense to me ;)

Keet

@Crumbly Writer

Just as many readers never read the blog, many never read the end-of-story comments.

Sure, but since you have to actively switch them off more readers will see them. They have to take action to see a blog while the reader comments are visible below the scoring.
Can an author change a message on the index page of a story easily? If so that might be a good place.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

you're tackling a job no one else sees interested in: selecting promising newbies and teaching them ... Here's hoping they appreciate it.

Thanks. I don't have any choice really. I seem to be hard-wired to work that way. I try to warn newbies I'm only suited to working with those who are determined to stick at it. They often don't know. I guess that makes me a bit of an acquired taste - like Vegemite.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Switch Blayde

@pangor

One author made a lot of similar mistakes all over her stories, so reporting them would not make sense (I would have to report every other paragraph)


On the contrary, what I do then is send a message saying something like, "You have a tendency of writing 'sue' where it should be 'use'."

Or I might say, "You're switching tenses."

It's then up to the author to track the errors down.

Switch Blayde

@Michael Loucks

The Oxford comma, at least for me, ensures no ambiguity, which is why I use it. It always looks odd in my eyes when it's NOT used.


Ditto for me.

When it's not there I assume the last two are joined rather than the last two in a list.

Switch Blayde

@Keet

The worst are the bugs that cause unexplainable behavior


The worse case I came across in my IT career was random/different errors. It turned out to be a paperclip in the mainframe. When it moved, it touched something and caused an error. A different error each time.

Replies:   Keet
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

It's then up to the author to track the errors down.


That will work for some of the errors, especially if it's 10 out of 15 usages. However, I've had errors reported where that will not work at all, and the only way to find the issue is when the person says, 'Chapter x where the text has "... blah blank ches melq .." so I can use the text to find the issue.

Most of the time this happens is when something got borked by the Wizard and no amount of searching my master file will find such an error. Sometimes the SoL wizard has run words together when the html text had a space but the text was wrapped. Such errors aren't consistent and will often be fixed by simply uploading the same file again.

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

I found a way to check if it makes sense to send an author a typo report if you've never contacted that author before. Just check the chapters for the story and see if any are updated. If none of the chapters are updated the author most likely doesn't do updates so no use in sending a typo report.

A lot of that depends upon their current editors. My last few stories, I won't get more than a couple of suggestions, but then someone will read it and suggest quite a few, so I'll go a long time with few changes, followed by many changes in a very short period.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Switch Blayde

The worse case I came across in my IT career was random/different errors. It turned out to be a paperclip in the mainframe. When it moved, it touched something and caused an error. A different error each time.

Ah, you had a debugger that wasn't up to the job. It should have had a magnetic test looking for random loose metal objects ;)

Keet

@Crumbly Writer

A lot of that depends upon their current editors. My last few stories, I won't get more than a couple of suggestions, but then someone will read it and suggest quite a few, so I'll go a long time with few changes, followed by many changes in a very short period.

I know, it's not a foolproof method but every little indication helps. So a combined set of indicators gets me pretty close.

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

Can an author change a message on the index page of a story easily? If so that might be a good place.

Theoretically, just post a new message with a chapter update, but Lazeez recently informed me that you cannot change an index structure once created (i.e. you can't add or delete section headers).

Those are done with the { notice} and { warning} tags.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

They often don't know. I guess that makes me a bit of an acquired taste - like Vegemite.

I think you just earned yourself a new tag: the Vegemite editor!

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

On the contrary, what I do then is send a message saying something like, "You have a tendency of writing 'sue' where it should be 'use'."

Or I might say, "You're switching tenses."

It's then up to the author to track the errors down.

I agree. If the authors keeps making the same mistake, it's like muscle memory, like when Ernest keeps using "sue". But once they know it, they can either try to break the habit, or more realistically, they can do global search and replace commands to change them ALL at once and be done with it. But those types of typos are both harder AND easier to manage than those you're not aware that you make.

Replies:   Keet  REP  Michael Loucks
Keet

@Crumbly Writer

they can do global search and replace commands to change them ALL at once

That works for some consistent mistakes but "sue" and "use" is not one of them since they are both correct words. Now if you know you didn't use the word "sue" it could still work, or if you know you just used it once or twice in a specific chapter you could change those back. In my business I have learned to be very careful with global replacements.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Darian Wolfe
Updated:

I prefer to be told. A lot of time I will fix them sometimes I do not. I had one reader give me a mini history lesson on art which I greatly appreciated which when I return to that Universe I will fix in the original story and may even mention or spin into an additional story. Authors only have so much time and education. It can take an amazing amount of work to build a credible universe. Every little bit of help I get is appreciated.

In dialogue, you will often see me make grammatical errors. That is intentional as there are very few people who speak formal grammatical English and my characters reflect that.

In other areas, it's open season as I do try to hold to a high standard of writing and appreciate any honest nitpicking with the understanding that I do use the British spelling of certain words such as colour as that is my personal preference.

richardshagrin

@Switch Blayde

"Those beers were good. Now where the hell is the toilet?"


You don't really buy beer. You just rent it and return it to the toilet when you are done with it.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

Ernest keeps using "sue"


The problem with global search and replace without confirmation is changing 'sue' to 'use' will affect words like 'pursue'.

You can add a space before and after to isolate the character string, but then you miss the occurrences preceded/followed by a quote, comma, period, etc.

REP

What surprises me is the number of errors I find in stories that have been posted for several years. If I don't know how the author handles suggested changes, I might think they quit or don't correct the errors.

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

That works for some consistent mistakes but "sue" and "use" is not one of them since they are both correct words. Now if you know you didn't use the word "sue" it could still work, or if you know you just used it once or twice in a specific chapter you could change those back. In my business I have learned to be very careful with global replacements.

You're right, of course. I was mainly thinking of my "hte" example, as there aren't many valid three letter words spelled that way, but I just went through one of my stories, correcting a fairly common spelling with global search and replace. It's a pain, but if you do it with a single search at a time, it is doable, though you're likely to mess up a couple in the process. :(

Michael Loucks

@Keet

It all comes down to what we learned in the first place.


Nah, I'm a convert, which makes me zealous about it to a fault! :-)

Michael Loucks

@Banadin

I received 117 emails about Corvette cars not having back seats. I did not respond. Did consider using a hammer on the next Corvette I saw.


My early readers catch these kinds of faux pas for me. And I've made some doozies. Anyone want an iPad in 2006??? :-)

Michael Loucks

@Crumbly Writer

If the authors keeps making the same mistake, it's like muscle memory, like when Ernest keeps using "sue


My editor's favorites:

someting instead of 'something';
Japanse instead of 'Japanese';
rally instead of 'really'

Of course his REAL favorite was when I misspelled my own name! :-)

Ernest Bywater

@Michael Loucks

Anyone want an iPad in 2006??? :-)


People with eye injuries have been after eye-pads for decades.

REP

@Michael Loucks

Yeah if I can get a do-over to go with it.

richardshagrin

@Michael Loucks

Anyone want an iPad in 2006??? :-)

An iP ad.
An ad(vertisement) for I pee? Maybe "The Yellow River" by I. P. Freely.

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