Red-pen’s Revenge

This week, I have managed to take myself on a short break, just for the week and just across the channel to France, and I am leaving you in the (?)capable hands of my proof-reader, so if you notice any mistakes then please let me know so that I can ask for a refund on her fee! So over to you, Krissi…..

……Thank you Ann, I think…..

Hello everybody! Golly gosh, I really feel as if I have jumped up two grades in school and been put in charge of the pencils and chalk all at once! Ann is taking a well-deserved break, and has asked me if I could fill in (gulp!) blog-wise ….. so here I am.

Red-pen's crew
Proof-reader’s arsenal

First of all, I must admit that I am not totally new to blog writing, I have my own at
auntykrissi.com
but when compared to Ann, I am somewhat of a novice. Well, let’s be honest here, Ann was the inspiration behind me joining the blogosphere, it is entirely her fault!

As Ann said, I am her proof-reader, which means that I get to read her novels before they are published, and aren’t they good? I know some people who think that their work doesn’t need to be proofed, “The spellchecker said it was fine…” they will say to me. Ouch! I really have to bite my tongue when I hear that! There is just so much more to proof-reading than spelling checks, as any of you who may have read a poorly-proofed book or article might agree.

Not being a proper writer like wot**Ann is, I have no experience of the creative side of writing. Ann has tried to describe her creative thought process to me as something akin to watching a film. The film plays in her head and she has to write what she sees and hears to tell the story. I think that is fascinating! Having very limited imagination, as I do, that sounds to me like magic. I like to think that I have a good memory, so I can write about things I have experienced, but summoning them up from thin air….nope, can’t do that.

I’m not sure how much faith I have in astrology, but I am a Virgo, and one of the things that Virgos are supposed to be, is perfectionists, is that a pain, or what! I do so wish that I didn’t get bothered when signs outside shops advertise “coffee’s and tea’s” or “apple’s and banana’s” but I do! (Just between us, apostrophe’s (sic) and their misplacement, are the pebbles in my life’s shoe) but anyway, the point I was trying to get to, is that, as a (sort of) perfectionist, looking for mistakes is easy peasy for me to do because I don’t need to look for them, they jump out of the page right at me! This is a double-edged sword, mind you, inasmuch as all mistakes jump out at me, even when I’m not supposed to be looking for them, however the bottom line is that proof-reading for me is sort of the same as story writing is for Ann, we both do it because it’s what we do!

You may be familiar with the idea that one cannot proof one’s own writing….even proof readers can’t. Very often, as the author of a piece of writing, you know what you mean to say, and when you read it, that’s how you read it, but a different pair of eyes might easily see a mistake, or a repetition, or quite simply where what you’ve written doesn’t actually say what you were trying to say. (Does that make sense?)

Anyway, I think that like so many other areas in life – with creative writing, we have habits, mistakes which we make again and again. Just as a writer has a writing style, so they also have a mistake-making style, and I’m hoping that Ann won’t mind me sharing with you her trademark mistake, so to speak! Hyphens, hyphens hyphens! If I had a pound/dollar/currency unit of choice for every hyphen I had ‘red-penned’ from the first draft of any of Ann’s novels into oblivion, then a rich woman I would be! When going through “The Angel Bug” I even threatened Ann, saying that I was going to remove the hyphen key from her computer keyboard! Conversely, sometimes (albeit quite infrequently) I have to insert a hyphen – and it does tickle my funnybone when that happens. (Sad, moi??)

So, I hope this has given you a little insight into my little corner of the Ann Foweraker world, enough to tide you over until Ann’s return next week, rested and rejuvenated after her recreational respite!


Let us know what your bête noire is, are you an apostrophe nerd like me? Or a hyphenaholic like Ann?

Do you think that correct spelling and punctuation are still relevant in 2013 and the world of the instant message?

We’d love to hear from you, and why not hop over to auntykrissi.com and take a look at what’s there! Oh, and I’m available for proof-reading commissions, just get in touch!

**whereas I might be a sort of perfectionist, I do like to keep a sense of irony in my writing. Of course I know that “wot” isn’t a word, and that even “what” would be incorrect in this context, but, like the Persian rug weavers who intentionally inserted a ‘mistake’ into their work, my ‘wot’ makes me imperfect, keeps my tongue firmly in my cheek, which in turn keeps my feet firmly on the ground and me firmly in the real world. (I hope)

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2 thoughts on “Red-pen’s Revenge

  1. Hi Krissi, thanks for your blurb, I loved reading it and I will be jumping over to read your own blog tomorrow. I too am a Virgo, and perfectionists we are and we can’t help it either. I love reading and have to agree with you, mistakes jump out at me and I get really annoyed with them as they shouldn’t be there! I firmly believe that spelling and punctuation is a must for all of us. Look forward to reading your blog tomorrow.

    • Hi Lynda, glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for the vote in favour 🙂

      I feel that if we let standards slip, we are not helping the next generations. Yes, I know that language evolves, but to push correct grammar and punctuation over the edge of that slippery slope does nobody any favours.

      Thanks (in anticipation) for looking at my blog, and Happy Birthday for around about now for all of us ‘perfect’ Virgos 🙂 🙂
      Best wishes

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