writing gaffes

As I sit here waiting for the UPS man to bring me my latest manuscript so I can wade through my editor’s revision comments, I am reminded of the many bloopers I’ve inadvertently written into early drafts.

I had a nurse who sighed patiently. (Well, how else is she going to sigh?)
I had a guard who looked at the heroine with a guarded expression. (Again, that’s a given.)
And of course there is my infamous snake (which you wouldn’t want in your mouth) who became a snack during the climax scene. (Not such a bad thing to have in your mouth.)

I have had characters walk down aisles and an ethereal smile that spellcheck turned into a urethral smile. (I’m not sure how that’s even possible.)

But probably my all time favorite writing blooper wasn’t written by me at all, but by my writer friend, Paige. In a draft for our critique group, she wrote a story about a princess who accidentally cast a spell that turned the castle staff into animals. These animals then did their eliminating business all over the castle floor. She and her family have to clean up the poop. While she is cleaning, she thinks about asking her family for help breaking the spell, but then reasons that her family already has their hands full.

Which of course makes the reader wonder exactly how the royal family is cleaning up the mess.

This my friends, is why you should never publish your first draft.


  1. Story Lady
    September 8, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    This is too funny!! I don’t edit my blog posts before I publish them (with two toddler running around, I don’t have the time!) and I get correcting comments all the time.

    I can imagine the field day my readers would have with my first draft. Eek. That’s why my Mom will be the first to read it. Her red pen has a way of being kind about correction.

  2. Taffy
    September 8, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Thanks for letting us wannabes know even the great ones make mistakes (or their computers doo, right?)

  3. Melinda
    September 8, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    In my last manuscript I wrote that my main character tied a jacket around her waste while running. Now that’s just gross…

  4. ruairi
    September 9, 2010 at 10:20 am


    I know, i always have to re-read emails…its always the important ones that have the unintentional innuendo 😀


  5. Erin Edwards
    September 10, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Haha! These are funny!

    Pup Rants posted a video last week on the Impotence of Proofreading that’s good for a laugh. (I didn’t post the link because I’m not sure if that’s considered pc on blogs, to send readers to another blog?)

  6. Janette Rallison
    September 12, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    I live in fear of that kind of error. The article mentions that Penguin had to recall thousands of cookbooks after printing a recipe that called for salt and ground black people. (Instead of pepper.) Like that’s not going to cause problems . . .

  7. Julie Wright
    September 14, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Oh to love the things we do well enough to poke fun at them. Very funny. 🙂

  8. Nicole
    September 14, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Hilarious as always, Janette! You brought a smile to my face! 😀

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