Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rachel? Who the Heck is Rachel??

So, I wrote a novel three years ago. Since that time I've probably read it through -- all 400 pages of it -- oh, give or take, a good twenty times. Or more. And about five of those times, I read it ALOUD, slowly, checking for inconsistencies. And I thought I'd caught them all. At least, the big ones...

Well, I thought wrong.

Here's the crazy part -- the main character's name is "Brooke." My mom (my biggest helper/editor, who's also read this book at least six times, carefully, for me) caught something in her sixth reading -- the name "Rachel." It was in a piece of dialogue between the main character and another character (not named Rachel): "Yadda yadda yadda," said Rachel.

My mom stopped, showed it to me, and said, "Umm, who's Rachel?"


As often as both of us had read the manuscript, we'd never caught that MAJOR mistake until that read-through. Rachel must've been my original name for the Brooke character three years ago (or, I had just watched an episode of "Friends" before I wrote that scene). My eagle-eyed agent also caught the mistake, before we had caught it. Oops. I hope he chuckled instead of winced, lol.

Anyway, it all goes to show that, even as many times as a manuscript is read, it still needs to be RE-read. Slowly. Carefully. Painstakingly. Many, many times over. And, by different pairs of eyes.

Because, somewhere along the way, you might just have a "Rachel" embedded in there. Sneaky wench. :-P


  1. I recommend that you buy a kindle and let it read your novel to you. I have caught so many mistakes in my own work by doing this.

  2. What a great idea - didn't know I could even do that. Thanks!