Maybe it's just me. But it seems like today's writing society is suffering from a severe case of Author Blindness.
What is "Author Blindness" you ask?
Well ... let's do the math.
Adjective: blinder, blindest.
Unable to see; lacking the sense of sight; sightless: "a blind man."
A person who writes a novel, poem, essay, etc.; the composer of a literary work, as distinguished from a compiler, translator, editor, or copyist.
So, Author Blindness is:
The inability for an Author to see mistakes within his/her own works.
Let's look at it this way ...
Authors of a work can sometimes suffer from a certain type of delusion when it comes to their writing. Not the "You need to be locked up and given some meds." type of delusion, but the authors' eyes playing tricks on them.
You see, when you've written a work, your mind is seeing what you WANT & THINK is written, but your eyes are not catching any mistakes simply because you're being blinded by what your mind is telling you is there—the narrative as per your desire.
Author Blindness inhibits the ability to catch any mistakes.
"So, what's the point?" you ask?
Today, The Review Board featured a piece that I wrote called "The Truth in Reviews". In that post, I talk about what it takes to make your work better. I also make mention of the following:
"In order to produce a good book you MUST take these steps:
- Write it
- Read it
- Edit it
- Read it
- Correct it
- Read it
- Edit it some more
- Read it again
- Have someone else read it
- Read it AGAIN!
You see, the more you read your work, the more you’ll realize that there could be potential problems with the book. There are so many things that you can discover when you read and re-read your book. Obvious things like typos/grammatical errors, and not so obvious things like plot holes and incoherence."
Some might think me cuckoo crazy for saying what I said above, but as always, there is a method to my madness. The things I say, I say for a reason.
I've been there! I've suffered the searing sting of the venom known as Author Blindness. In my very first publication I did not have the support/help I needed to edit it. Nor did I have the money to pay a professional to do so. So, I had to do it myself. In so doing, I had to suffer the ramifications of Author Blindness. There were SO MANY things that I missed, or simply didn't see. Then when it was read by an outside audience, many of them pointed out my mishaps.
Now, I'm sure you're probably wondering why I am bringing all of this up. I can promise you that there is a reason.
As a reviewer, time and time again, I have to deal with people that get mad that I've given their book a low score, or have made mention of the book's shortcomings.
Had I gotten mad at the people that told me my book was a mess, I would've never been able to learn. In listening and accepting what they said, not only did I perfect my craft, but I discovered what Author Blindness is and more importantly how to fix it.
Using the tools I provided above, plus implementing this little jewel that I'm about to share with you, you will have a great change at combating and winning the war against Author Blindness.
Here is the key ...
Put the WIP away for 3 - 4 weeks—don't look at it—then when you pull it back out, print it out (don't read it on the computer) and read it that way. I promise you that you're going to notice things that you hadn't noticed before.
Make sure to have a red pen and highlighter available. These will be your tools to mark up the document.