Beware! Stealth Words Ahead!

Posted: July 6, 2012 in fiction, imagination, novel, wit, words, Writing

Writing is a tuff business. On the whole, writers are far from perfect with words. Some of use just arrange them around better than others. (Okay. You’re probably distracted by that word above, right? Fourth word, first sentence?)

Well, I wasn’t. After two outside editorial efforts, three revisions, numerous beta readers, and seven (yes, seven!) copy-edit/proof passes through a 390-page manuscript, the word ” tuff ” remained unscathed. Six months later, while sending out the 134th query to an agent (all pending, mind you), I somehow caught the misspelling when I copied a three chapter sample into the body of an e-mail.

I would say that’s one ” tuff ” cookie of a word. We all missed it! You see, I was describing the sparse ” tufts ” of hair on an old man’s head near the end of the second chapter. Maybe I was thinking of how tough those hairs were, resisting age and wear, hanging on with tiny root feet. Defying odds. But TUFFS? I guess my mind has been corrupted with texting, and plastic play toys, and advertisements for food storage containers, and garbage bags, and…

…maybe I’m just a writer who gets blind spots wearing his manuscript on his eyeballs for 14 months. Excuses aside, I felt like crawling under a rock.

It’s corrected now. But I’ve learned a some valuable lessons from it. Maybe a few you wouldn’t expect. I learned that we all make mistakes, no matter how hard we try. I learned that beating yourself up over a mistake doesn’t correct the mistake. And I’ve learned to laugh at my mistakes.

I mean, really…tuffs??

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