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amlptj
05-21-2010, 08:23 AM
Hi, this is probably a stupid question, and this is probably not where I should be posting this but i need this answered please.

Ok i'm dyslexic so i cant spell or remember and put to practice grammer rules to save my life...My spelling is so bad that spell check on Word cant even suggest words for what im trying to spell... and ive tried to correct my work myself but Ive falled miserable in confusion and fustration after like 5 pages. I really need a proofreader or someone who can correct my horrable spelling and grammer but i dont know how to find them... do proofreaders even still exsist? Can i send my horrible manuscript to a agent as is? Is that what editors do?

I'm really confused and for 8 years now i've been stalling on getting an agent for my books because i dont have them proofread PLEASE any info and help would be great!

alleycat
05-21-2010, 08:31 AM
One idea: find a friend who is a good proofreader (and maybe offer to take them out to eat if they spend much time doing it). I have a friend who isn't very good about doing any kind of critique about plot, dialogue, character, or that sort of thing, but is excellent about finding those pesky typos. If I'm submitting something, I will sometime get her to read it as a final check.

And yes, you can hire people to do this. Another alternate is hiring a grad student or teacher during the summer months.

dgiharris
05-21-2010, 08:44 AM
There are businesses that provide editing and proofreading services. I think they charge around $20 - $50 per hour. So, depending on the level of mistakes, it could easily cost you a couple of thousand to have your manuscript edited.

I am not an expert by any means on dyslexia, but I do believe there are writers that are dyslexic.

Have you researched any techniques, tools, etc that dyslexics can use to overcome their impediments?

I don't mean to sound simplistic or callous, but if you have an impediment, it just means you have to work harder and shouldn't accept that you will never be good at grammar.

Reason I say that is because if you want to be a writer, unless you are independantly wealthy, sending every single story/manuscript to an editing service is going to be extremely expensive

Again, i'm not an expert on dyslexia and do not know if it is possible to overcome, but I do know there are writers out there that manage to figure out a way around it.

good luck

Mel...

amlptj
05-21-2010, 08:45 AM
first off i think your kitten picture is adorable. And i tried with the whole friend thing but lets just say my friends arnt that nice or good at grammer...

The funny thing is is that my grandmom is a retired proofreader but still after 8 almost 9 years hasnt even proofread the first chapter of my first out of 6 books...

The grad student idea is a good one... Hummmm do i know a grad student?

amlptj
05-21-2010, 08:52 AM
Wow!!! never thought it would be that expensive!

Crap... anyway to answer your other questions, ive tried many times to proofread it myself but lets just say... (embarrasing story) i looked for almost an hour in a dictionary on how to spell iguana under "e" until i finally asked my mom she got home.

Its a futial stuggle and trust me ive tired many many times to do it myself but i still end up with things ive missed simply because i truly cant find the spelling or because i dont know all the rules of grammer no matter how hard i try...

And although I dont have that kind of money (broke college student) i need to get this proofread by someone who knows what they are doing. Need to figure something out then...

shaldna
05-21-2010, 12:12 PM
to solve the spelling issue you could get yourself a voice to text programme. they cost about a hundred quid, but are invaluable to some people.

Chris P
05-21-2010, 08:10 PM
As dgiharris said, there are professional proofreading services, but his quote is on the high side. Many charge by the word (2 cents or so), so a typical 80,000 word novel will cost you about $1600. It's a significant investment so you should consider it as carefully as you would buying a sofa/recliner set or buying stock. There are benefits to hiring a professional service, but it's not for everyone.

Snowstorm
05-21-2010, 08:26 PM
Is there a writers group in your area? Members of a writers group might be able to help you find a proofreader or provide beta services within the group. The camaraderie can be invaluable.

You can check with your local library or the newspaper for starters.

FallenAngel
05-22-2010, 07:49 AM
One thing I do when I have doubts on a word is use Google. It asks you a question "Did you mean(insert word here)?".


I have been looking for a good proofreading program/software. But most costs money, but when you think about it; 70-100 dollars is a good investment comparing to $1,600 that professional editors charge.


Hope this helps :(

Ravenlocks
05-22-2010, 08:52 AM
I've done professional proofreading, and trust me, we earn our pay. When there are a lot of mistakes, a proofread is extremely time-consuming. I've never proofread a book-length manuscript, but I doubt I would have the time or patience.

My suggestion for the OP would be make sure the books are in final form before you look for a proofreader. That way you only have to pay or call in a favor once, and you're respecting the proofreader's time by not giving him/her substandard work. When you do find one, definitely respect what they do. It's a tough job.

But also see if there's anything you can do to improve your spelling/grammar on your own. If spell check can't determine what words you're looking for, it's likely a proofreader won't be able to either.

Medievalist
05-22-2010, 10:45 AM
Are you on a Mac or PC/Windows?

Do you have access to a laser printer?

This is resolvable; there are many dyslexic published writers.

Medievalist
05-22-2010, 10:48 AM
But also see if there's anything you can do to improve your spelling/grammar on your own. If spell check can't determine what words you're looking for, it's likely a proofreader won't be able to either.

This is exactly why dyslexia is such a PITA.

Words and letters are shape-shifters. The letters put themselves in the wrong order, and hell, half of the letters and numbers like like two or three others, anyway.

Is that an n an m or a w?

Is that an h or an n? Wait. Maybe that's an L?

Oh, hey, that's a t. No, wait, that's an f.

Was or saw? Pots or stop?

Terie
05-22-2010, 11:05 AM
I can't personally help you with your problem (much as I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it go away), but as others have said, there are writers with dyslexia. As a matter of fact, there's a brand new fantasy series by debut author Blake Charlton, who has severe dyslexia. The magic system in the series is based on spelling, and the main character has a magical form of dyslexia. You might want to check it out just for fun and for encouragement that, yes, you can do this if you really want to. You have extra roadblocks that most of us don't have, but You. Can. Do. It!

Ravenlocks
05-22-2010, 11:55 PM
This is exactly why dyslexia is such a PITA.

Words and letters are shape-shifters. The letters put themselves in the wrong order, and hell, half of the letters and numbers like like two or three others, anyway.

Is that an n an m or a w?

Is that an h or an n? Wait. Maybe that's an L?

Oh, hey, that's a t. No, wait, that's an f.

Was or saw? Pots or stop?
I'll be the first to admit I don't know much about it. Are there any sites out there dedicated to writers with dyslexia? Or maybe the OP could post in one of the forums here and find some supportive other writers with dyslexia who could share their solutions.

Lyra
05-23-2010, 01:48 AM
I have edited work by a number of people who are dyslexic and have worked for years collaborating on books with someone who has severe dyslexia. Dyslexia varies so much that what works for one person may not work for another.

However, one person I have worked with has found that her writing has improved immensely when she uses a filter screen on her computer. Also, the people I have worked with have found non serif fonts to be easier to follow. There's a fair chance that you have consistent errors in what you write, so it may be helpful for someone to point these out to you rather than just proofread what you have written. People's patterning with words can often be off in very specific ways and if someone can help you find some of your ways, that will go a long way towards showing you what you need to focus on. And going slow can make a big difference.

Voice recognition software could be a good idea.

If you do want to pay out for a proofreader at some stage, I'd strongly suggest that you choose someone who has either worked with dyslexics before or who has worked with someone who has worked with people who have non native English (this may not be logical, but I've found the error patterning to be similar). It takes a higher degree of intution to proofread a text written by a dyslexic than it does other texts.

A cheaper option could be to pay a transcriptionist and dictate your writing to an audio file.

Captcha
05-23-2010, 05:24 AM
I don't mean to sound like a hard-ass, but I'd say that based on your posts here, you're not really trying that hard to get past the dyslexia. I'm not saying that it won't be an obstacle for you, but is it dyslexia that tells you not to capitalize "i", or is it chat-speak?

Spell check isn't perfect, but a lot of the errors that I've seen in your posts WOULD be caught by spell check. I think you'll have better luck getting people to help you with the stuff that you really CAN'T catch if you demonstrate that you are doing everything you can to catch the issues that you CAN.

juniper
05-23-2010, 08:26 AM
The funny thing is is that my grandmom is a retired proofreader but still after 8 almost 9 years hasnt even proofread the first chapter of my first out of 6 books...

Why hasn't your grandmother proofed the first chapter? You asked and she said no (which is ok for people to say) or she couldn't get through it or what?

And if you're a college student, how are you getting through your school papers? Are you having someone proof them before you turn them in, or do your profs let you slide on errors due to your disability?

Being at college seems as if it would be a plus for you - a lot of English majors who could help you. Maybe there's a program there at your school already set up, or after class tutoring, or something similar. Perhaps the English or business writing students could earn extra credit by proofing other students' papers.

I'm impressed that you're pushing on with your writing, even if it's a struggle. Sorry I have no solid advice for you. Good luck!

thothguard51
05-23-2010, 08:52 AM
I might suggest experimenting with different size fonts until you find one that is easy to read for you and the letters look like they are supposed to.

I find that in proofing, if you change up the format of the page slightly, (I.E. larger fonts, move the margins, or spacing), you can catch things you have been constantly missing because it does not read the same.

Also, printing out your work will make it look differently than just trying to read/edit from your screen.

As too spelling, create a cheat sheet of words you constantly misspell. Put them in Alphabetical order.

Old Hack
05-23-2010, 11:16 AM
My son is dyslexic and uses a laptop at school with a program called "read and write gold": it helps him a lot, and is very easy to use. I recommend it highly. It works in conjunction with your word-processing package to help you express yourself properly. You do still have to do a lot of work, but it gets you past that impossible stage.

As for writers with dyslexia struggling--tell me about it. I have dyslexic tendencies, but after a lot of hard work I'm managing fine.

Medievalist
05-23-2010, 07:58 PM
I might suggest experimenting with different size fonts until you find one that is easy to read for you and the letters look like they are supposed to. .

For a large number of people with dyslexia, they have no idea how text is supposed to look.

This is not a vision issue; it's related to neurological differences, most typically, actual neurological damage, from injury or from birth.

There are a very large number of dyslexics for whom text looks like those CAPTCHA images.

The issues underlying the cluster of symptoms called dyslexia include spatial issues, sequence issues, dysphonetic and dyscalculia issues.

There are people who read reasonably well, or better than average, but can't write, even with a keyboard.

There are people who can read and write letters, but not numbers.

There are people who can't read well, but manage with a computer and special software, or using dictation software to write.

shaldna
05-24-2010, 11:53 AM
My brother is dyslexic, and he finds that a simple sheet of green plastic over the words help. I don't know how or why, but it works for him.

juniper
05-24-2010, 11:17 PM
My oldest (step)son had a reading problem when he was a child. I don't know if he's fully overcome it or not. I know he reads fantasy/sci-fi but he always did poorly in school. He somehow saw the last part of the word before he saw the first part, or the letters were jumbled around. He had to have some kind of special training. I wasn't around then so I don't know the particulars.

That was a couple of decades ago - I think the understanding and treatment of these disorders has improved by now.

Medievalist
05-24-2010, 11:33 PM
My brother is dyslexic, and he finds that a simple sheet of green plastic over the words help. I don't know how or why, but it works for him.

Like glasses with pink lenses, the green plastic increases the contrast between white space and letter edge, using a "trick" of visual perception to help with neurological processing of spatial boundaries.

amlptj
05-30-2010, 10:08 AM
Why hasn't your grandmother proofed the first chapter? You asked and she said no (which is ok for people to say) or she couldn't get through it or what?

And if you're a college student, how are you getting through your school papers? Are you having someone proof them before you turn them in, or do your profs let you slide on errors due to your disability?

Being at college seems as if it would be a plus for you - a lot of English majors who could help you. Maybe there's a program there at your school already set up, or after class tutoring, or something similar. Perhaps the English or business writing students could earn extra credit by proofing other students' papers.

I'm impressed that you're pushing on with your writing, even if it's a struggle. Sorry I have no solid advice for you. Good luck!

Yeah well my grandmom says she will but at her pase... well its been 8 years already and i only think 5 pages were finished... As for school papers i have a mixture of my grandmom and my roomate to proof read my papers. My school dont offer programs that would help unless they were related to real school work.

amlptj
05-30-2010, 10:09 AM
Thanks everyone for the tricks i'll have to try them out. As for what i'm going to do guess i'll still have to keep looking around, thanks though!

Kalyke
05-31-2010, 02:30 AM
You did pretty well writing that post.

Nuklear1
07-06-2010, 05:37 AM
I found this site. http://www.dyslexia.com/famous.htm This site lists famous people who have dyslexia. Again, as I mentioned in another thread, Dragon Speak Naturally might help you a lot. If you use this software in conjunction with Microsoft Word (with spell check) I believe you will notice a big difference. I also recommend finding a close friend to help with the typos. When you have your work polished then find someone here on AW to beta read some of the work and critique it for you.