Hemlock and Editing

Hemlock, by F.T. McKinstry


I recently came upon a series of amazing photos of animals camouflaged in their natural environments. They are very good at this. True to form, my cat Hemlock can vanish like a ghost when she’s of a mind.

So I just finished editing my latest novel. By “finished” I mean for the time being, because well, my publisher was waiting and I can only tinker with it for so long. Stephen King says it nicely: “To write is human, to edit is divine.” Yes, and I’m burnt. But while basking in the warm glow of having handed the beastie over to my editor, I had an interesting thought.

Mistakes hide in manuscripts in much the same way creatures camouflage themselves in the wilds. A missing or a wrong word is not as beautiful as Hemlock, of course. But I have to acknowledge how clever words are at hiding in seemingly harmless passages. It’s a testament to the power of the imagination that one can look at that egregious grammatical blunder sixty five times and not see it. Then suddenly, like magic, there it is sitting in the garden under the bushes.

They shapeshift too, you know. But that’s another story.

© F.T. McKinstry 2013. All Rights Reserved.

2 thoughts on “Hemlock and Editing

  1. Congrats on finishing the novel. I’m basically in the same boat. I just finished mine and it’s now in the hands of the editor. I love the analogy of camouflaged mistakes. They definitely have a way of doing that!


  2. Thanks, David! Yes it always amazes me, how sneaky writing mistakes can be. Weeds in the garden do the same thing. They are able to make themselves look like everything around them. Good luck with your manuscript!


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