Recently I have been taking part in an event known to a long line of writers. Its history goes back to cavemen writing on the walls. This is the hunt for the lesser-spotted typo. As I write I think about those caves, and also the poor souls who wrote in hieroglyphics on the walls of the pyramids. They got to the end of their magnum opus and looked in wonder at the newly-inscribed walls. Then in walked the head scribe, shaking his head.
"No. No. The bird comes before the snake. Didn't they teach you anything at school?"
This led to instant deflation, and in the case of our Egyptian scribe, certain death.
Typos are shy creatures and will find places to hide throughout any manuscript. They have no particular nesting site and can be found anywhere within a document. They are not fussy about the size or type of document, and respect no borders. The lesser-spotted typo can also transform itself and has been seen in a multitude of disguises. All this can make the hunt very difficult.
How, then, can the eager writer find one of these creatures? The only way is to proceed slowly through the habitat. Examine every character as there may be a lesser-spotted typo lurking nearby. When you see one you must kill it immediately. This is not only legal, but also enshrined in editorial law. One must exterminate them. Do not fear that they will die out. The lesser-spotted typo breeds rapidly.
Patience and persistence are the only way to find this creature. After hunting through your manuscript once, please do not give up: it is necessary to go through your work a number of times. As you are moving forward several more will have taken up position behind you. Please do not hunt if you are tired. The lesser-spotted typo will take advantage of this and burrow in deeply whilst you are not looking.
One useful tip is to hunt in groups. Find skilled professionals and more knowledgeable friends to join you. This is one of the best ways to eliminate lesser-spotted typos completely.
So for those who are embarking on your first hunt I hope this guide has helped you. For those more experienced I hope this will serve as a useful reminder. If you have any more tips on how to catch this elusive creature, then please comment below.
About the Author
Wendy H. Jones lives in Scotland, and her police procedural series featuring Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie, is set in the beautiful city of Dundee, Scotland. Wendy has led a varied and adventurous life. Her love for adventure led to her joining the Royal Navy to undertake nurse training. After six years in the Navy she joined the Army where she served as an Officer for a further 17 years. This took her all over the world including Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Much of her spare time is now spent travelling around the UK, and lands much further afield. As well as nursing Wendy also worked for many years in Academia. This led to publication in academic textbooks and journals. Killer's Countdown is her first novel and the first book in the Shona McKenzie Mystery series. Her second book, Killer's Craft, will be released on 20th July, 2015.