Thursday, March 25, 2010

Something NOT To Do.

Sara: Oh crap! I'm FINALLY finished with this round of edits, but now my MS formatting is weird because I used two different programs while writing it. Half of my stupid em dashes reverted to regular old dashes.


Sara: Duh! I'll just do a replace all and change the dashes back to em dashes! 

*replaces all dashes with em dashes*

Sara: Problem SOLVED! Man, I amaze myself with how smart I am sometimes...

*sends MS to CPs*

You may be wondering why NOT to do what I did (though if you're less blonde than I am, you already know). Well, it's because there are these things called hyphenated words. So when a fabulous CP goes through your draft, they get to see LOTS of words like high—pitched, instead of high-pitched. Like self—conscious, instead of self-conscious; star—crossed, instead of star-crossed; hip—hop, instead of hip-hop.

Yeah, I definitely did that before sending my last draft to Alexandra and Carol. Now that I've finished going through their notes, I'm surprised they're still even speaking with me.

*begs forgiveness*

In other news, I finished this round of revisions and *think* I only have one (and possibly a half) more before I'm ready to skydive from that great query plane in the sky...

*dies of nervousness*

PS. Image, and more information about dashes & em dashes found here.

♥ Sara


  1. Yikes. That is good advice. I didn't even think about that when I was reading the first part of the blog post but when I got to the other half I was like "D'oh". That is definitely a "d'oh" moment.

    Could have been worse at least. Good luck with your manuscript. *takes notes from lesson learned*

  2. oh, that's too funny. Funny b/c I probably would've done exactly the same thing, in exactly the same order.

  3. Congrats on getting through with your edits. Tha's got to feel good.

    Oh, replace all, how we love you. Yep, I think every writer's done something silly with that function, at least once. Or, in my case, probably more than once.

  4. Haha...Fine and Replace is the bane of my existence. They really should make it more specific, like when this grouping of letters appears ALONE, replace it. *sigh*

  5. Oh, dashes and em dashes. So evil. That's why, when I use the "find and replace" feature, I never choose "replace all." I always view them one at a time. You'd be surprised how the one word you want to replace is sometimes hidden in a bigger word.

    Also, yay for being almost done!

  6. Too funny! I can barely ever get Word to make an em dash for me.

    You know if you put a space before and after the - it won't replace hyphens that are in the middle of words.

  7. Oh man, there's a difference? Yikes, I have a long way to go ;o) That search/find deal can get ya in to trouble every time! Glad the query days are upon you ;o)

  8. Overlooking emdashes is not enough to make me upset about getting to read something so fabulous :)

    I have a feeling it probably wouldn't be enough to make an agent say no, either, if they loved the ms enough. But it's always good to appear professional. :-P Fortunately for you, me and C don't care if you appear professional, or in your underwear.

  9. LOL! That settles it - now I KNOW we were separated at birth! You are so...me! :-)

  10. i made the "find" and "replace all" mistake once.
    Never again...

  11. Haha, yes I've done that a few times too! Once I wanted to change mother to mum, so I did the whole find and replace thing and instead of smother, I got smum, and mother tongue, I got mum tongue. hmmmm ...

  12. Oops! Heh. I accidentally un-indented the paragraphs on 40,000 words once. D'oh!

  13. I so feel your pain! I had a hero named Matt and halfway through I changed his name. Like you, I found and replaced. Mattered, mattress, etc all ended up as weird hybrid words. It took FOREVER to fix.

  14. I've made a couple of bloopers with the find and replace tool as well. Oops! I'm sure they still love you anyway :)

  15. lol. That's kind of funny At least you didn't send it agents that way. ;)

  16. The good news is you understand dashes in the first place :) That puts you worlds ahead!
    Good luck with they querying!

  17. That is HILARIOUS! And, a great reminder! Good luck with your querying!

  18. That was an epically—funny post, good lady. One of the better belly—laughs I’ve had in a while. And now I’m just looking for excuses to use em dashes. Can I find any more randomly—gratuitous, not—particularly—relevant, excessively—hyphenated words to drop in my comment? Apparently so. Huh.

  19. Awesome job on finishing the edits. :)

    And good luck with the query thing. It can be nerve-wracking for sure, but only way to find out if you can fly is to jump out of the plane. ;-)

  20. Haha! You silly. Okay, so I had no idea why all your en dashes were em dashes. The find and replace option never occurred to me. I thought maybe your en dash on your software or your keyboard was wonky, or maybe that they had a funny way of teaching punctuation in Virginia--that's how ridiculous I am. So, yeah, all is forgiven. I really didn't mind. I think I stopped marking them after the first twenty pages or so :P How lovely it must have seen to see the same thing marked over and over. Ha! We're even.

    Query time soon, sweetie peetie...dun dun dunnnnn.


Yay! I love when you have things to add :)