WIP: Adventures In Proofreading

On the whole, it was a pretty good day—much better than has been my normal. But it shined light on a weak link and made wonder about some new questions.

Tuesday

On most Tuesdays, my daughter spends the day with my wife’s mother, who has the day off. Today, however, my mother-in-law was experiencing some kind of invasion of hundreds or thousands of tiny, biting spiders, and my daughter may never go there again.

After my now-regular Miracle Morning routine, I managed to get some good work done. In the late afternoon, we went to meet my wife for dinner, then my wife took my daughter with her to a board meeting at UUCP. I had the chance to play poker, but I wanted to get some work done, so that’s what I did. I had the evening to myself until late, and work I did.

Angel of Death

 [Cover of Angel of Death: A Victor Storm Novel by T.F. Torrey] Before I send my books out to proofreaders, I run them through a proofreading process myself. For Angel of Death, I expected that to take an hour or so. I don’t know I underestimated it so badly; it isn’t as though this is new. In reality, Angel of Death is bigger than the automated systems like to handle in one go, and with a preliminary count of 500–600+ warnings to check, it will take a minimum of four hours.

And it will take even longer because I’m trying to get the best results possible, which means using multiple checkers: LanguageTool, After The Deadline, and Grammarly. I would like to find one that catches everything and works offline, and LanguageTool might be that eventually, but it isn’t there yet, and trying to unzip the ~20GB of ngram data to improve its checks crashed my machine. Of course, I can easily turn it over to a paid human proofreader, but human proofreaders don’t catch everything, and I think they will catch a higher percentage of errors if there are fewer of them, so it behooves me to do as many automated checks as I can first.

Unfortunately, though I worked late into the night, I ran out of steam before the work was complete.

Another day gone.