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Writer’s Craft #120 Editos

May 6, 2013
Lynda Williams

Lynda Williams, Author of Okal Rel Saga

Your host, Lynda Williams, is the author of the Okal Rel Saga (Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing) and editor of the Okal Rel Legacies series (Absolute Xpress). She also works as Learning Technology Manager for Simon Fraser University and teaches an introductory web development course at BCIT. For a list of Okal Rel titles see: Lynda Williams on Amazon.com.


Do you commit editos? They are like typos, but instead of typing “the” for “she” the resulting mess is due to splicing incompatible sentence constructions.

Here’s an example from Part 9: Holy War, in my ten-novel series The Okal Rel Saga.

Herver hadn’t held out much hope of spiritual influence working against hard core fanatics like the followers of Dod, but it had been the only way he could think of to helping when the fighting broke out.

Knowing me, I suspect I began with:

It had been the only way he could think of helping, when the fighting broke out.

And then changed it to.

It had been the only way he could think of to help when the fighting broke out.

Or tried to! My brain thought I was finished before my eyes confirmed the job.

The most maddening thing about editos, for me, is that I introduce them when improving an earlier construction. And they seem hard to spot on proof-reading. After discovering a few of these in the first five chapters of Part 9: Holy War, post inputting my editor’s feedback, I’ve asked for the MS back as laid out for printing to do an extra anti-edito pass.

Grr arg! Do you suffer from editos, or is it just me?

I’m considering the possibility it is my brain (or my flying fingers) that need fixing.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 6, 2013 6:58 am

    I do this all the time. My wife is great for reviewing my work and finding my abundant editos. I also find that I add an “e” in inappropriate places. I suppose I am chanelling olde English spellin.

  2. May 6, 2013 7:56 am

    Lynda, I had to read it through twice before I caught it! guess I read for meaning rather than slight errors…

  3. May 6, 2013 9:15 am

    Good gravy, yes! And, as you mentioned, they seem to result from my attempt to “improve” things on later drafts. Blerg!

  4. May 6, 2013 9:17 am

    Dear Lynda,
    Thank you for your invaluable post on “editos”. One might assume that the brain has already process the text in memory, therefore we might not see the ‘typo’s or editos’. We not ‘seeing the obvious’. A great colleague of mine suggest, going back in a few day for the re-correct. Reading aloud and practicing the craft, makes perfect. My thoughts!

  5. May 6, 2013 12:11 pm

    *laughs in commiseration with your pain* … and hopefully we catch the little buggers before the final edit.

  6. May 7, 2013 8:35 am

    Love the term “editos.” They’re so hard to catch, especially when it’s something you’ve written yourself. For me, anyway, my eyes see what I expect, not what’s actually written. I’m so glad to have a word for it now. Editos! Thanks.

  7. May 13, 2013 10:44 pm

    I think it is my flying fingers too. I hate editos! I think that I really find I need more improving the more edits I do until, I am convinced to scrap the whole book and start over from scratch. It is a terribly frustrating business! I know you did a great job though. Good luck with your new release.
    Sincerely,
    Linda

    • May 25, 2013 12:22 pm

      Linda, just surfed to your site. Would you like to write a Clarion Writer’s Craft on the topic “What makes a great romance”? Answer it yourself from your own work, first, then ask readers here. If so, contact us at lynda (at) okalrel.org and david (at) okalrel.org

  8. May 25, 2013 12:16 pm

    Thanks all, for sharing the shame. One of the good things about the digital revolution is that one can fix the little buggers, as Widdershins so aptly dubs them. And thank heavens for readers like myself and Nikki Broadwell who don’t see ’em when reading, either. Although makes me wonder how much readers plug in their own word order and choices as they go even when we don’t glitch.🙂 Ack rel.

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