What proofreading fiction is not about
Proofreading, to me, is about more than just catching errors or carrying out a last-minute rush to save somebody from potential embarrassment. As in the ‘quick proofread’ it’s often seen as a service that is more efficient and less expensive, but its value isn’t always appreciated.
What does proofreading fiction mean to me?
I think making sure anything that is written has been proofread before publishing should be a priority for everybody who publishes. Why? Making mistakes is normal and it happens all the time. Everybody who writes doesn’t always have that distance from their own material to see the errors that are there instead of the writing they think is there. Mistakes can come about through typing errors or through not knowing the correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar in a particular instance.
We’re not just talking about mistakes here either. Role is important. As the writer your eyes are on writing the content, which can involve supplying ideas and finding the best way for you to express that content. The proofreader, on the other hand, is looking for sense, consistency, and error; and this focus can make all the difference, in my experience making mistakes and correcting others’.
I think one of the major things to keep in mind when proofreading is restraint, especially since I offer a copy editing service. Proofreaders really do need to maintain good judgement on which changes to make and how much to intervene. This is why proofreading is called a ‘light touch’ or a ‘final check’.