I was editing my book last night and laughing at some of the careless mistakes I’d made in it. It reminded me of a column I wrote last year about a discussion group I belong to on Amazon.com, where people share funny mistakes they find in books, mainly the self-published ones.
Anyway, the column I wrote last year received so much positive feedback, I’ve decided to share some of the more recent goofs the readers have found. Personally, I think a lot of the group members’ comments (which I’ve put in parenthesis) are even funnier than the mistakes they found.
From a mystery romance novel: “He was certain his search for her kidnapper would lead him to his arch rival, Juan, the famous shipping magnet.” (This explains why Juan was attracted to refrigerators and couldn’t seem to pry himself away).
From a crime novel: “Is there any more news on the security breeches?” (Security breeches? Are those the male equivalent of a chastity belt?).
From another romance novel: “The doctors had to put her in a medically induced comma.” (I guess she didn’t qualify for the semi-colon? Maybe one of her organs was punctuated?).
From a science-fiction novel: “Apparently, he was being stocked by aliens.” (I wonder which section they stocked him in? Produce, meat or dairy?).
From a steamy romance: “Her body quacked under his heated stare." (Good way to break the mood, I’m thinking…unless you’re a duck).
From a murder mystery: “She was frightened when she heard a creek in the dark hallway.” (I’d be frightened, too, if I heard water rushing down my hallway!).
From a modern romance: “I’ve always had a flare for roses.” (For that black, extra-crispy potpourri).
From a mystery novel: “She didn’t want him to find out she was three months in the rears on her mortgage payment.” (Yep, those mortgage payments can be a real pain in the butt!).
From an adventure novel: “They were two damaged soles looking for their place in the world.” (A cobbler’s shop, perhaps?).
From a romance novel: “All I can say is I must be a real gluten for punishment!” (I’ll bet she was born and “bread,” too).
From a crime novel: “He figured he could beat the wrap.” (Hey, don’t take out your anger on innocent Christmas paper!).
From a science-fiction novel. “He received near-fatal wounds while trying to take down a rouge from another pack.” (Some people take their skin applications and blusher very seriously).
From a young-adult novel: “Kelsie groaned as she eyed the mountain of empty pink hangars and discarded clothes strewn across her bed.” (Did she also have Airline Pilot Barbie to go with all of those pink hangars?).
From a romance novel: “I should have introduced you! Where are my manors?” (Nothing worse than misplaced real-estate).
From a romance novel: “She was aware of his reputation as a wonton lover.” (I really love my Chinese food, too!).
From an old-fashioned romance: “She carefully poured the soup into the blue pottery bowels.” (Ugh! I just lost my appetite…maybe forever!).
From a modern romance novel: “His girlfriend died in a fire right before she broke up with him.” (Huh?).
From a mystery novel: “Morning’s bitten light was struggling out across the city and shafted down through the penthouse’s skylights. He groaned again when the warm shelf of light hit his face.” (The light was bitten, struggling, shafting and shelved, all in one paragraph? That’s one energetic beam!).
From another mystery novel: “She wrote a blog for the paper and occasionally broke out in print as well.” (Broke out in print? Is there an ointment for that?).
From a romance novel: “You’re nothing but a heartless cod!” (He does sound a little fishy to me).
From still another romance novel: “He narrowed his eyes at her and said, ‘I would not hold your breath, sweetheart!’” (Fine. But will you hold my purse while I hold my own breath?).
From a science-fiction novel: “She thought the legions on his face should be seen by a dermatologist.” (Legions of what?).
From an old-fashioned romance novel: “We were given a dozen fresh eggs and some chickens in a coup.” (Quick! Fricassee the chickens before they try to overthrow the government!).
From a modern romance: “After spending three hours sitting on those hard, uncomfortable bleachers, she stood and discreetly rubbed her butt ox.” (Butt ox? Is that like a hip cow?).
It’s amazing how just one word or wrong letter can change the entire meaning of a sentence. I’m glad I’m not the only one who sometimes makes careless mistakes when I write. I’m also glad I caught one particular goof I made before my book is published, otherwise I might have been embarrassed to see my own mistake being joked about on the Amazon website.
I wrote: “The man made her uncomfortable because he openly stared at her beasts when he talked to her.”
The comment probably would be something like, “How rude! Nothing worse than ogling a woman’s pets!”
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