I was going over an old published story yesterday with a view to sending it out abroad. I read through it once. Went through it again, altering a bit here and a bit there so it would fit in with the overseas market. I was about 50 words short so I went through it again and it was only when I decided I’d found a sentence that could be lengthened that I really read it.
I had referred to a car with cream yellow upholstery. Cream yellow? What the hell is that? I remember writing the story. I remember seeing the car in my mind. It had cream leather upholstery. For some reason my mind had sent the word yellow to my typing fingers and they had obeyed. And what was worse, every time I reread the story I saw yellow and read leather because I think I was seeing the car and not the words.
I’ve just checked the magazine version and the line had been published as “cream-leather upholstery.” Now there’s a fiction editor who knows what I mean even if I don’t say it!
I often write “the” instead of “and”, so a sentence will read, “The fox the the butterly . . .” but fortunately Word will pick that one out and wave it under my nose.
Anyone else do things like that? Please say you do!