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.


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.