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I'm going to tell you a secret. Sometimes I can't spell. That's bad; isn't it? I mean, after all, I am an author. Yet there are so many times when I'm writing furiously, and I cannot remember how to spell the word I want to use. I simply have to give it my best shot and hope that spellcheck can fix it for me. Don't pretend like you don't do this. I know better. And even then sometimes a word will get left out of the sentence. It can be quite humiliating. But why should it be so bad?

I've noticed some people complain about spelling mistakes and missing words in novels, claiming that it ruins the story. All I can think is, "How does that ruin the story?" If the book were chock-full of spelling errors, then I could totally see it. But if there are only a few words missing out of an entire book, then why is it that big of a deal?

I've read bits of A Castle in the Sky on my Kindle. I've noticed some minor things that I didn't while I was editing. Of course I was embarrassed; I want my book to be perfect! But then again, why should I be so hard on myself? I wrote a freakin' book. Actually, I wrote four, but who's counting? So once I was through crying, I listened to Laugh It Off by Eisley and decided that it really wasn't that bad.

Most of the time, when you're writing a book, you get caught up in the story. Your main concern is getting the actual story on the page, not if you've used the correct "there," "their," or "they're." Sometimes missing words and spelling errors mean that the author was so focused on the story that they paid no attention to technicalities.

It's important to make your story the best it can be. When editing, fix as many issues as you can. You want to make your book the best that it can be. Yet if in the final product there are a few mistakes, remember that it isn't the end of the world. It's nearly impossible to publish an entire book that won't have a few errors. I've read books that are on The New York Times Bestseller's List that have a few mistakes in them. It just happens, and it's no big deal. I just feel like readers need to be more understanding about little things like this.

Nobody is perfect. I see about a thousand grammar errors a day. For goodness sake, there are people who write "u" in reference to a human being and think that it's acceptable to write "this" as "dis". And don't even get me started on "bae". *shutters* But you know what? I can still understand what they're saying. When someone sends a text message to me that says, "Wut u doin dis wknd?" I know that they want to see if I have any plans for Saturday. And when somebody tweets about their "bae" it's a pretty sure bet that they're talking about their special someone. I may not like reading messages like this, but I can still understand what is being said. Just like a reader can still understand the sentence "The duck flies midnight."

So authors, don't feel bad if there are little mistakes in your novel. You wrote a novel; meditate on that and the wonderment of it. Should a reader find issue with a little word that they cannot see, they will soon find some other trivial concern to direct their distaste toward.

Happy writing


-Miranda Atchley

4 comments

  1. As a total spelling psycho, I agree! Seriously, the odd spelling error does NOT bother me. However as you said, when there's a lot, that's just distracting and sad to say I judge it especially in indies! When it's minor it definitely does not remove me from the story especially if the writing itself is good!

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    1. Totally agree, Stefanie. Thanks for dropping by! :)

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  2. I have to admit that I have been one of those readers that has complained about the missing word or misspelled word in a book that I am reading. I think what bothers me is that I am one of those people that reads every word. I know there are readers out there that kind of just skim when they read, but I am an every word counts kind of reader so it can be distracting when there are too many errors. I can excuse a few errors here and there, but when a book is full of editing errors I tend to go bonkers! I also understand though that even when an author has several people editing for them that those typos and misspellings or missing words can still be overlooked. My thinking is that as the author you do the best you can to catch all of those mistakes, take pride in what you have accomplished and definitely grow a thick skin because there are going to be critics that will latch on to every little mistake and point it out to you. And truly I think it is the rare book that doesn't have some type of mistake in it...it happens. :)

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    1. I can see where you're coming from. Authors need to try our best, but we readers need to also be forgiving. Thank you for stopping by, Julie! :)

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