Tag Archives: errors

Well Crap, what now?

It a rare Tuesday post, because I ran into a problem. I uploaded The Playground, checked everything, and it looked great. I've done this a few times, and maybe I've grown complacent. Now I have a formatting problem.

I write in Apple Pages, and have been very happy with it in all respects. To publish a book, I have to create an ePub file, and use the Amazon system to create the Mobi file that Kindles all use. I've never had a problem before.

Software gets upgraded from time to time, and sometimes things don't work the way they used to. Pages has been upgraded multiple times. So has the Kindle software.

My problem involves italics. I use them for emphasis, which I really like. I also use them for thoughts, and the occasional newscast. Just highlight the word, presto, italics.

I decided to see how much of a free preview Amazon is giving customers. My italics are making a completely random error. Sometimes everything is perfect. Sometimes a single word in italics makes the whole paragraph display in italics.

It will throw someone out of the story. I'm bound to get a crappy review because of this.

I can't duplicate it with a test page. It seems to happen completely at random. It would be much easier if it happened every time.

My old friend Google seems to think it involves changing a word to italics the correct way. Amazon appears to want me to change the font. In other words, Times New Roman is a font, and Times New Roman-Italic is looked at as a completely different font.

I write everything in Courier, because that seems to be the most highly recommended font. Never had a problem. There may not be a Courier Italics font.

Okay, back to my test page. If I change the whole page to TNR, then change a few words to TNR-italics, it seems to work fine. The problem is that I can't duplicate the error.

I could go through my document and make these changes. It's a lot of work, but I could get it done in a day and reload the book. I just don't know if it will work at all – because I can't duplicate the error.

I might be able to create a test sheet, load it to Amazon's converter, and proofread the test sheet. Then I have to change my mind and not actually publish it. If it works, I would then go back through The Playground and change it line by line.

Part of my problem is that the problem occurs randomly. It works fine in some sections, and fails in others. I don't think a test sheet is reliable. If it fails, I know it won't reliably work. If it passes, I have no guarantee that it won't fail on a different page.

Changing all my future work to TNR, and TNR-Italics on occasion, isn't a huge problem. At least until the software updates again and something else happens. People already have The Playground, and I want to fix it.

Does anyone have some kind of superior knowledge to share with me? Tomorrow is my day off, but it doesn't look like I'll be taking that breather. I'll probably take a chance on changing the whole thing, and spend my day on that.

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Trying to improve

I make mistakes, but I try to catch them. Some slip through, and it bugs the crap out of me.

I constantly type “it’s” when I want “its”. For some reason that damned apostrophe slips in there too often. It’s almost like trying to get the dog to stay home.

Some words I never can spell right the first time. Lien and weird come to mind.

I will rewrite to avoid effect and affect.

It’s a complicated language where right, write, wright, and rite all have different meanings. Reign, rein, and rain anyone?

Knowing I have these shortcomings, I try to be tolerant of others. I try, I’m not always successful. There are a couple of common ones that I’d like others to work on. I promise to work on my issues in exchange for a group effort here.

Lose and loose are two different words, with different meanings. Use them both, but learn which is which.

This one could make you sound strange if you mix them up. Defiantly and definitely are also different words. You probably don’t want to say, “I’m defiantly happy.”

How about you? Are there any common errors you’re guilty of? Are there any that come across like nails on a chalkboard? (How many of you don’t know what a chalkboard is?)

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Filed under Writing