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Sunday, April 5, 2015

What Sucks About Editing Your Book...malapropisms -Keira Gillett

 Bonjour! Good morning! I’ve known Sharon for some time and I’m thrilled to be here on I Smell Sheep! My name is Keira Gillett and I’m the author of Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest, the first book in the Zaria Fierce Trilogy. My book released on March 06, 2015.

I’m here today to share the worst aspect of editing your book (and I’m sure other authors will agree with me.) The part about editing that sucks the most is not having someone point out plot inconsistencies, fluctuating character appearances, errors in timeline, unwieldy spatial depictions, strange behaviors from your characters, or inquiries into your world building. All of that is easy. The small stuff. I certainly didn’t lose any sleep over it. I welcomed those things being pointed out because it would make my writing stronger.

No, the suckiest part had to be finding and replacing the malapropisms within the text. They’re more difficult to spot than other errors because a real word sits in the place of the correct word choice. Spellcheck won’t find these words and suggest the proper replacement because a program like Word doesn't see it the error as incorrect. A word is a word to it. It would be amazing if it did find these wrong words and highlight them for you. (I’m looking to you Microsoft to create this handy feature… I would pay good money for it!) 

Many eyeballs have scoured my story. You’d think this would be a safety net, but casual readers and hired professionals will miss things (although to be fair they miss way less.) I’ve found malapropisms sitting mockingly within my text even after all the edits were done. I think this is because readers, like the spellcheck program, will also skip over the malapropisms without seeing them. This is either because they don’t know better, or they do, and their mind replaced the wrong word with the correct word instantly as they read the passage.

For example in the original text of Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest I found I had typed bypass instead of impasse, hoard instead of horde, took instead of too, new instead of next, the instead of they, and so on. Even after I put the book under more scrutiny, the little devils still plagued me. Luckily, I have an amazing narrator and she caught these errors (prosperity vs. posterity) before recording them.

What I’ve learned from Michele Carpenter is this… “When you’re narrating, it’s impossible to miss [malapropisms] because you have to say every word out loud and have it flow just right.” Lesson learned! Read your book aloud to find those pesky illusive mix-ups. But, even if you don’t, the contextual clues should allow readers to deduce what you really meant as the author. However I think it’s far better if the malapropisms are eliminated before readers get their hands on the book. It’s worth the extra effort (and here’s hoping that every malapropism has been caught!!!)

Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest
Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest
by Keira Gillett
Release Date: March 6, 2015
Illustrator: Eoghan Kerrigan
Narrator: Michele Carpenter
Series: Zaria Fierce Trilogy, Book 1
Genre: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy
Setting: Modern-day Norway
Page Count: 224
Word Count: 36, 200

On her birthday, Zaria Fierce finds her usual path to school blocked by an ugly river-troll. At first she’s surprised and curious, but then Olaf threatens to eat her, which is an act Zaria could not in good conscience consent to, so Zaria counteroffers. A deal is struck and she goes to school, but Zaria is about to learn the hard way that one does not trick a river-troll and expect to win. Early Reviews: “With kids interested in “Frozen,” with Anna and Elsa, this would be a natural progression.” – Judi Oswald, Reference Librarian
Geirr stooped to pick up some decent-sized sticks, and Zaria bent to grab a few too. They talked amicably and walked, stretching their legs, until they were too burdened by their loads to keep going.

“My arms are going to collapse,” Zaria huffed. Her breath fogged around her face, covering and then revealing a well-pinked nose and cheeks. “Let’s head back to camp.”

“Sounds good to me,” Geirr said and turned around to do just that. Zaria followed and collided into him, dropping her load of kindling all over the ground.

“Hey!” she exclaimed, as she went to gather them. “Why did you stop?”

“I don’t think we’re going to find camp,” Geirr said, worrying his lip. He juggled his armful of wood and pointed haphazardly forward. “It’s like pea soup.”

Zaria looked up from playing fifty-two pickup and saw what worried Geirr. In front of them was a wall of fog, thick, viscous, and impossible to see through. She gulped and carefully set down the pile she’d been working to gather again. Was it her imagination or did the fog seem to be breathing? It crept closer in stages. Not fast enough that she saw it while looking directly at it, but if she looked away and back, it most definitely moved.

“Uh, Geirr,” Zaria said, slowly gaining her feet. “I think we should move and fast.”

Geirr looked at her puzzled. “I don’t think fast is an option here. Now if you pick up your stack and stick near me maybe we can Marco Polo our way back to the others.”

“Geirr,” Zaria hissed, her voice ratcheting higher. “The fog is moving.” He didn’t look impressed. The breathing sounds from within the fog grew louder, distressing Zaria. “No seriously, it’s moving like it’s alive.”

Geirr looked back again and stared hard, trying to penetrate the fog with his gaze alone. Zaria started to ease away, firewood forgotten.

“Come on, Geirr, we have to move. Can’t you hear the breathing?”

“That isn’t you?” he asked, alarmed.

“No!” Zaria shouted. “Run!”

Watch the Book Trailer:

Keira Gillett author picture
About the Author:
Keira Gillett is a technical publications librarian, book blogger, world traveler, artist, and now author. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Drawing and Painting. From an early age her mother instilled a love of the written word, as such she has always been a big reader. Her first book, Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest, is about a young girl who must complete a quest to save her friend from a nasty river-troll.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Sharon for having me here! It's so nice to be a part of the Sheep's 5th birthday. :)