Friday, April 13, 2012

The The

Not the band. I actually typed this in a manuscript. The Helper Monkey was reading yesterday, and caught it. Too bad that particular novel is out with agents, and entered in a writing contest. I was distressed, but figured it wasn't too bad. One silly little typo.

The "the the" he found should have read "and the". I figured the fastest way to find it and correct it was to use the search function, and look for "the the." The only instance it should have found was the one Helper Monkey pointed out. Or so I thought.

The first instance of double the's occurred about a hundred pages before the one he noticed. I cringed, deleted the bonus "the," and moved on. It had to be the next one...

And it wasn't. I fixed the second double the and moved on again.

Third time's the charm, though. The third one was the correct one, and the last one. I changed the first the to and, and saved.

YIKES! Bear in mind, I've read, edited, and revised this manuscript no fewer than fifteen times, and it's been read by Helper Monkey twice now. We never caught any of these before. It gives me the vapors thinking about how many other mystery mistakes are still swimming around in the text. I feel so incompetent! :)

Then again, out of 105,000 words, there are bound to be a few mistakes that I'm incapable of catching. Eventually, I think my brain stops seeing them. I know the words so well, I know what they're SUPPOSED to be doing together, and I unconsciously overlook the few troublemakers.

The the end.

*oh, except for the the writing update:

Words: 15,270
Pages: 51
It's been a slog this week. Writing a new novel always entails new research, especially at the beginning. I've been learning all about Damascus steel, railroad spikes, and Northern Italy (one of my characters is from that region). I'm sure there will be more fun research to come, but in the mean time, back to writing...


  1. Hi, Laura. There's not a way to comment on your query, so I hope you don't mind that I'm commenting here instead.

    Thalia Drake, quite possibly the last dragon on earth, believes her cover identity as an ass-kicking werewolf is in jeopardy. Human victims of a serial killer are turning up in the Everglades, and all the evidence suggests the killer has bigger, more reptilian game on the menu.

    The ritual to kill a shifter was supposed to be lost to antiquity, along with all the sorcerers capable of pulling it off. Dragons have always been partially immune to the magic, but this new threat seems targeted directly at Thalia. Her sensitivity to the spell leads her closest friends to suspect she isn't entirely what she claims to be, especially with the "D" word hovering around the investigation. Thalia's instinct to protect the human public, and save her shifter friends, is at war with her need to keep her scaly, fire-breathing true identity under wraps.

    DRAGON HUNTER is an urban/contemporary fantasy novel of 105,500 words. I have also completed a second Thalia Drake novel, but DRAGON HUNTER can stand on its own. Thank you for your time and consideration.

    I’ve probably cut too much, in fact, I know I have, but the query reads like a synopsis and needs to be pared down to its bare bones before plumping it back up with essential information that centers around the elements left.

  2. Hi Laura! I was just about to say what Lanette already said. Heehee. Unfortunately, blogspot doesn't allow comments on pages, only on actual blog posts. If anyone knows how to change that, I'd love to know!

    As far as your query goes, I really liked it. I felt pulled in and interested which is the whole point, right? However,I also like the way Lanette pared it down a little bit too. I'm curious to see what the other query-shark chum thinks.

    This is kinda fun. We're like Janet Reid's personal Island of Misfit Toys! lol!

    I made a new blog post for my query so you don't have to read all my ramblings in the other post. Truthfully, after reading all of yours, I'm pretty embarrassed. I was before, but now even more so. Ah well, have at it.

    Here it is, should you desire to rip it apart:

  3. Hey Laura,

    I had the same idea as Lanette. You don't have comments enabled for your pages, so I'm commenting here. :)

    Here are my thoughts (for whatever they're worth, maybe nothing *winks* --since I'm no query expert either):

    I really like how much information comes accross when I read it. It reminds me a little bit of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Belador series (Don't worry -not too similar, though. I'm thinking it might make a good comp?).

    I thought the first sentence was too long and wordy. I noticed Lanette suggested a shortened version, above. You might consider shortening it like she did.

    Also, in the first paragraph, instead of saying "bigger, more reptilian game," I might straight-out say you're talking about a dragon. It might make it clearer since there's a lot of information, and we're not involved in the world you've built yet.

    I also agree with Lanette that it's a bit long and feels like a synopsis. Lanette's done a good job of zeroing in on the most important things.

    One other thing --the sentence about the ritual to kill a shifter confuses me a bit. First, I thought she was a dragon that's only pretending to be a shifter. Is she really a shifter? (Shifter dragon that can take a werewolf's shape?) Also, it's not immediately clear when the sentence starts why you're talking about the ritual to kill a shifter. Perhaps start with the fact that she feels invincible until some new force comes on the scene who knows the secret ritual?

    Overall, I feel like your writing's great and the story really comes through. Just shave some words off to make it leaner

    Good luck!


  4. Thank you Everyone! It's so hard to see what's working and what's not in your own query. I've had several people who were unfamiliar with my story read it, and ask if it made them want to read more. I've totally reworked it three times, but this is the first time I've had other people who've written a query look at it and let me know what they think.

    It's impossible to step outside the query and look at it with an "outsider's" point of view. I know my own story too well, and I'm grateful to you for pointing out where the query lacks something or is unclear. Rewriting it now! I will post the changes later today.

    And I also feel like a doofus for posting it as a "page" without comment ability. But I didn't want to make it a blog post, because I tend to write more posts nearly every day. I think I'll set up a special post with the new query, though, when it goes up. I can't wait to check out all of your queries!


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