Disparity — defined as the lack of agreement between internal perceptions with external behavior. So what does that have to do with writing? Simply put, what we think about our writing is always different from the public’s perception. There’s a huge gap in what we see in our writing and what others see in it.
Proofreading your own work is a good idea. You’ll catch some typos and maybe a few usage errors or verb tense disagreements. It is more difficult for the author of a piece to evaluate the clarity of his/her own work. After all, we know what we meant when we wrote it. That is probably going to cause us to see what we meant when we read it.
Sometimes, a sentence can be interpreted in more than one way. The results may be hilarious or just confusing. This kind of ambiguity can cause readers to pause, disrupting the rhythm of the story. Alternatively, they may misinterpret the meaning of the sentence and go forward with a key misunderstanding.
Getting more eyeballs on your manuscript will help. Brooks and I have three sets of eyeballs going over the draft of our WIP. When we are done, we’ll get it in front of some beta-readers. That doesn’t mean it will be perfect before we release it. Sometimes 100 people read and understand the sentence just as you intended. That doesn’t mean reader 101 won’t see the sentence in an entirely different way. If there is a way to misunderstand your meaning, there is always someone out there who will. Continue reading “Misadventures in Wordcraft”