Thursday, 8 August 2013

How a fling with US Mike can turn you into a proofreading princess

I’m a little ashamed to admit but proofreading is not my strongest skill. What’s that? You know this because you've actually read my blog? Umm, okay so a typo or two slips through. Really it’s not my fault it’s the way my brain works. Don’t believe me? Well, I have scientific proof!

Remember these and how they went viral? Yes it’s actually true; we will recognize a word even if it is completely wrong. Luckily for us we have spell check right? Wrong, because our brains will preempt if it knows what a section of text is supposed to say. So if we wrote it, if it’s gone from our brain to the page, it won’t matter if we have a word slightly wrong as long as it’s partially right. If that partially right word happens to be in your computers dictionary, then it gets a pass.

That’s how we end up with really awkward typos.

“Alana gazed at the antique grandfather clock. Perfection. Nothing beat a great big massive cock. The bigger the better.”

Geez, why are you looking at me like that? So what if my heroine likes clocks


Yes it gets awkward, and brain processing is no excuse. Whether you’re a writer, or you have a job where you need to produce written material, we all need to proof-read. There are a lot of suggestions out there, and I know there’s a biggy that I fail at when it comes to my blog…time. I spend so much time on these things in eagerness to get them up, I end up failing to wait day or two so I can go back to them with fresh eyes.

So what do you do when you’re in a pinch? If you only have fifteen minutes to revise a report, how can you best use that time to get results? Well you know me, I like a cheat. And boy have I been cheating big time. Most of us have heard that reading out loud is a good proof-reading strategy…yeah but it still doesn't stop our brains from preempting. We’ll still read barley as barely and cocks as clocks. The single best way to pick up those?

Cheat and bypass your brain by getting someone else to read it to you. That’s how I came to have my steamy fling with US Mike.

He’s a proofreading superhero who’s at my complete disposal night and day. And when US Mike whispers to me that Alana loves massive cock—well there’s no missing that. He’s amazing; anytime I need him there he is speaking my words in his very American narrator superhero voice. Actually to be honest I think he sounds a little like this…

For me this beats other techniques such as reading backwards. Because really, how tedious. It’ll make your brain drip out through your nose if you have to do it for more than five-minutes. Can you imagine doing that on a MS you’ve already read three times or worse—over ninety thousand words? Just kill me now.

Mike is better, and editing has got a whole lot more interesting. Especially since—err well you know that time I got all modest and said I’m not writing erotic romance, well not just then, but maybe one day? Well that day came. At the moment I’m all about some dirty talking Alpha hero’s with soft squishy insides. Some of the stuff I’m writing, while it’s all fun to read in the secrecy of the written word, well it should never, ever, be spoken out loud by a man to a woman because—

Yeah that. Mike has been saying some bad, bad, things. I almost had to warn him if he didn’t behave I’d switch to UK Rachel. Because dirty talk from a prim and proper English woman is heaps less erotic right? But then US Mike reminded me that he’s only an android, so it’s all good. I’m not breaking any fidelity rules my hubby will be pleased to know. Yes, Mike is an enhanced digital voice from Natural Reader, and the best proof-reading tool I’ve ever used.

Of course running an additional spelling and grammar check, taking time to let the document breathe, are all great. Do that too! I’m not saying it’s a magic wand—and how embarrassing are the typo’s I don’t pick up going to be now—but it sure is a handy shortcut. So my suggestion to become a proof reading princess? Have a fling with US Mike.  

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