Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Brain

© Marta Stephens 2008 all rights reserved

Ah, yes, where would we be without our brains?

Our bodies would cease to function without it. The brain alone is responsible for sending out the proper signals to every organ, nerve, and system in our bodies that keep them running like well-oiled machines. Just try to over-indulger with one glass of wine too many and see what happens.

Curiously though, I’ve noticed over the past several months that in spite of its many complex and important duties, my brain has taken it upon itself to play magician.

We’ve had countless articles on Murder by 4 on self-editing and proofreading techniques and believe me, I’ve paid attention, but it doesn’t matter how often I read my work, some of those pesky typos continue to go undetected.

Why is it then that mistakes jump out at me when I read the pages again with a fresh pair of eyes? Why hadn’t I noticed that the “your” on line five, paragraph three should’ve been “you’re?” How could I have missed adding a “the” and the “to” in the last sentence? Is it really careless proofreading and sloppy editing?

Nay I say! It’s the brain!!

Check this out. Is it any wonder we can't proofread our own work?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFE92HYShYU


Kim Smith said...

whoa... that is totally wild!!! and i pride myself on being perceptive!!!

Marta Stephens said...

Me too. I was blown away by it. ;)

s.w. vaughn said...

Yes, it's definitely the brain's fault. :-)

I went through four or five revisions of one of my novels without realizing I had a character getting his "first good luck" at something. My brain knew what it was SUPPOSED to say, so that's what I read. Someone else had to point it out to me. LOL

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Wow! I usually like to think I'm perceptive, at least a little. But I didn't see that darned guy in the ape suit. Maybe it's just an extraordinary ability to focus??? LOL. Thanks, Marta. Happy Thanksgiving!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

lol, I didn't notice the ape the first time either.

I think part of the problem with repeating the same errors or typos is habit.

I've done the same thing, only I'll read a passage 6x, then pass it along to a good proof-reader. Every single time s/he finds something. And I'm dumbstruck as to how it slipped by.

My eye will see YOU for instance & yet my brain will register HER. HER is what I intended.

I think that's why they say to read backwards so you actually see what's on the screen. Hmmm.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

we don't see the ape guy because we're afraid of making a fool of ourselves by not counting the right amount of passes. It's manipulation. He sets us up for failure right off the bat.

The sneaky guy.

Kathryn Magendie said...

I saw the ape -- okay, I didnt *laughing*

As for typos -girl, no matter how many times I've read my VK novel, I still do not "see" errors -

But, I'll tell you this - I've read novels published by "big time publishers" and they had errors-typos, and other kinds of errors.

When I read the ARC of "The Devil can Wait" I was so impressed with the LACK of errors - grammatical and otherwise, because I am the pickiest pickiest of editors (and even with my "editing talents" I still miss things in my own work -it's just how it is!)

Warren Adler said...

I hadn't seen this awareness video before. Thanks for sharing!

Marta Stephens said...

Hey everyone! Amazing what the old brain can do, huh? Glad you enjoyed the post/link. :)