Okay, let me be the first to admit, my copy editing is not perfect. I do the best I can to deliver a polished product to my readers, but the fact of the matter is I'm not in a position to afford a professional editor yet. I have noticed with the advent of e-books, which has brought more writers to light than traditional publishing ever did, that readers seem to be more tolerant of minor errors. I know I am. There's an author whose books I love who is constantly confusing set and sat.
As tolerant as readers are, that doesn't mean writers shouldn't be diligent. I think that indie writers have an even greater responsibility to readers, especially when you consider that some people still don't consider indie authors to be "real" authors.
I am the first to admit that I still have to stop and think, is it effect or affect? If I'm struggling, I'm sure other writers are. That said, there are some things that make me cringe.
Alright is not a word! It doesn't mean you agree everything is okay. It needs to be spelled out as two words; all right. Is something alwrong? Then it can't be alright! Fellow writers, I am begging you. Please stop using it.
Do I feel bad or badly? I feel bad. Bad always applies to feelings. If I'm going to talk about how the team did in the game last night, they did badly. Bad equals feelings. Badly equals how you did or reacted to something.
Do I want dessert or desert? If I'm talking about a sweet treat then I mean dessert. What child didn't learn that you put two of the letter S in the word dessert because you want two helpings? I can eat my dessert in the desert, or I can desert my post, but I am not eating desert.
Does this happen every day? Is it an everyday occurrence? Every day, two words, means every single day. Everyday means something is routine. I read every day.
Does it faze you when I point this out? Do you think it's a phase? Faze means to bother or disturb while phase means a period of time. So, I hope you are not fazed because I can assure you this is not a phase.
Ensure or insure? This is a big one. If I am ensuring you, I'm making you certain of something. Only property can be insured; my car, my house, etc.
Is it the past tense that you passed me by? Yes it is! Past is a noun that means the preceding time or an adjective that often means last. Passed is a verb. You passed me by when you walk past me.
And finally, my favorite, or least favorite, I guess you can say. Do they unconsciously or subconsciously seek each other out in a crowd? I hope they aren't unconscious when they do it since that means they aren't awake. I'm sad to say I see it happen often in books.
I'm also sad to say this is just a glimpse into a much bigger problem. Or is it a glimpse in to the problem? It's tough to say, but as writers we should do our best not to let our confusion effect the reader's experience. Wait, was that effect the reader's experience or affect it? Oh, hell!