I have a problem with spelling.
It’s a bit like anti-dyslexia. I’ve seen friends stare at a page of text, totally unable to see the glaring errors in front of them. I don’t have that. I get the opposite.
When I look at a page of text, errors jump out at me. They’re distracting. I’m not trying to proofread, not trying to find problems. It’s them. They find me.
Of course, I’m as vulnerable as anyone else when it comes to text I’ve written. It’s hard to proofread your own stuff.
But it’s bad enough that I find it a problem to read on the Kindle. As soon as I see an error, I’m pulled out of the book. The carefully constructed fantasy world is jerked out from under me. I want to feed back to the publisher, so I think about how I could do that. I can’t.
I’ve taken to just highlighting the word. Then I move on. For the rest of the chapter, I’m not reading, I’m just checking words for errors. The next chapter, I can start reading again. But I’m not back into the fantasy world for another three chapters or so.
So I bought this book recently, written by an ex-colleague. It’s good – it’s really good. I want to write back and say I love how he sets the scene, how he builds his characters through their actions rather than simply describing what they’re wearing. How he doesn’t fall for the new-author fate of rewriting the first three chapters straight from a thesaurus, just to appear intelligent; but at the same time, I love the simple choice of words. “Raucous chowder” is a wonderful way to describe Fisherman’s Wharf.
I’d say this, and more, but I wouldn’t be able to say it without adding the soul-destroying “but”. He doesn’t want to hear the “but”. Nobody cares about the “but”.
But there’s a rogue “if” instead of “it” in paragraph eight. And it’s killing me.
And nobody needs to know that.
So maybe I’ll just be quiet.