The simple truth is that I am not mentally capable of seeing even obvious mistakes by the time I’m done writing. One thing that really helps me is reading the page out loud to Bill. If I stumble for any reason I find it is caused by incorrect words or punctuation. If I don’t fix it, every reader will stumble in the same place and suddenly the poor mechanics of what I wrote will yank them completely out of the story… something I never want to happen.
Our brains are incredible machines, and after awhile, when I’ve lived inside the story for months and months and read and re-read and re-re-read it, I begain reading words that I THINK are on the page, but not really there at all. Putting the book away for a year will allow some of the mistakes to be spotted and fixed, but who wants to put their treasure in a drawer and forget about it?
Grammar and punctuation errors are often caused when a writer doesn’t know any better. Only a professional who has not read the piece and is not attached to your story can spot and fix your manuscript the right way. I can’t thank Bill and Rich Petersen enough for going through my most recent work.