As an aspiring writer, I have had my fair share of writing fails!
What I am about to share with you today, are my all time biggest writing fails from famous authors over the recent years.
So, without any further ado, let’s jump right into Number #1!
#1 – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
It’s time to call your mom to dig through the basement boxes! According to The Independent, 500 hardback copies of the first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (known as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the U.S.), contain a rare error—and those unique books can now fetch as much as $26,000 in auction. The error is a typo on page 53 of the book. In the list of school supplies Harry needs for Hogwarts, the item “1 wand” is listed twice by mistake. It was corrected in all later editions of the inaugural Harry Potter tale.
#2 – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
As with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain took great creative license when he was writing about Huck Finn, and the book is full of things like “spos’n” in place of “supposing” and “gwyne” in place of “going to” to illustrate the Southern dialect the boys speak. But among the intentionally flawed bits of spelling and grammar, there is a legitimate error hidden in first edition of Huck Finn: “I took the bag to where it used to stand, and ripped a hole in the bottom of it with the was.” (It should be “with the saw.”)
#3 – A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
The entire Song of Ice and Fire series—the books that the HBO show A Game of Thrones is based on—is rife with typos and consistency errors, but Book Five arguably has the most. For instance, on page 854, where Queen Cersei descends a staircase and muses: “’I am beautiful,’ she reminded himself.” The word “wroth” is consistently misused in this book as well—e.g., page 53: “Even in the north men fear the wroth of Tywin Lannister.” (Wroth is an adjective, meaning angry—author George R. R. Martin should have used “wrath,” the noun form.)
#4 – Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
The first edition of Twilight is festering with typos, which is perhaps unsurprising, seeing as it was written in just three months and was sent to press in a similar hurry. Most of the blemishes are of the “whose/who’s” and “though/through” variety, but there are a few funny ones, including “I ate breakfast cheerily, watching the dust moats stirring in the sunlight that streamed in the back window.” One can imagine that Stephenie Meyer, who went from being a stay-at-home mom to finding herself on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid celebrities in the space of just a few years, probably didn’t lose too much sleep over it.
#5 – The Bible! by GOD??? I guess…
‘Sin on more’
A 1716 edition of the 17th-century King James version (known as the Party Bible – OK, no it isn’t) replaces “Sin no more” from Jeremiah 31:34 with “Sin on more”. There were 8,000 copies printed before anyone noticed.
‘Let the children first be killed’
This is very awkward. It’s Mark 7:27 and it’s supposed to be: “Let the children first be filled.” A 1795 edition of the King James version.
‘If the latter husband ate her’
Known as the Cannibal’s Bible (yes really), a 1682 printing alters this passage from Deuteronomy 24:3, which is meant to read: “If the latter husband hate her.”
A damaged piece of type in a 1944 edition of the King James version changed the depressing commandment “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands” to the far more exciting “in the same way submit yourselves to your owl husbands”, raising the prospect of a whole new world of ornithological encounters.
‘Printers have persecuted me’
A Freudian finale to our list, this error, in a Bible of 1612, blames our inky-fingered friends instead of “princes”. Entirely justified, you might think. Except that, in the age of the internet, we only have ourselves to blame. Please consider the environment before printing this email.
…and that’s just to name a few!
If you – like me – are an avid reader, and enjoy reading epic fantasy akin to The Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones, then follow my blog, and join me on my journey as I write my first novel!
Author of the Felrich Untwright Trilogy