“Murphy’s Law assures us that no amount of proofreading will uncover all the errors of a work about to be published. The questions are, how many re-readings are reasonable and when should compulsiveness be applied?”
-Arthur Plotnik, The Elements of Editing
I like to imagine I carry around a little hoagie-shop card that gets stamped every time I make any sort of mistake. Buy ten and the eleventh is FAILURE.
No one wants to attach their reputation to a paragraph that could contain an outright spelling error or grammatical cow pie, but who can say that’s never happened? We minimize, we mitigate, a few of us get to 99.9%.
Proofreading, especially with longer manuscripts, can become one of those things that gets easier the less you “try”, the less you tell yourself that you’d better get it right and get it right now. Which is another way of saying: Experience and maturity are the only ways to get it right.
On that note, please inform me of the errors in my recent post of short fiction on my wine blog.