I hate doing that.
Once the final proofs are done, I usually turn away from that book and focus on the next. And I hate revisiting something that has been an intense part of my life for a year or so and finding out that it is not perfect….! And of course, it is not, never can be.
Song of the Shiver Barrens was a bit rushed towards the end, so I am re-reading, hoping to spot the typos or rough passages that escaped the numerous eagle eyes of author and editor and copy editor and type-setter and proof editor. Why? So that I can fix them before I send off the MS to the UK publisher, Orbit.
I have been reasonably happy with my other books in this respect, but not this one. There are errors – all small, but which grate on my perfectionist eye now that they are there staring up at me from the printed page, yelling, “Look at me! Look at me!”
Can anyone tell me how it is that I came to write the following: He handed her her cloak without throwing up? I suspect that in the original typescript, the first “her” was at the end of a line and the second at the beginning of the next line. It’s the only excuse I can make (ignoring the fact that I did also read the proofs…). And I have no idea how everyone else didn’t wince when they read it. Aargh.
[A mild digression here – most mainstream “literary” novelists spend several years – or more – on a book, polishing and perfecting. Fantasy writers usually don’t have that luxury – our books can be two to three times the length of a literary novel, and in order to keep our audience happy, plus earn enough to keep ourselves happy, we have to be much more productive. I have had seven books published in the past nine years, varying in length from 126,000 words to 165,000 words. And for about 9 months of every year, I have a full-time job as well.
So you are more inclined to find typos and such in a BFF (big fat fantasy) than in a slim “literary” novel. If you do find typos, you can always tell the author about them. They can then make sure they are corrected in the second edition.
Not much point, however, in telling the writer that there is a plot hole the size of the Mariana Trench in Chapter Twenty. Quite frankly, we don’t want to know – because it’s far too late to do anything about it. And no, I haven’t found a plot hole in Song of the Shiver Barrens….yet.]