Thursday, January 8, 2009

More Editing Tips - Writer's Common Mistakes

I found this article at On Writing, and felt it was very well done. Another nice set of tips to add to the Ten Point Revision Strategy.

More Common Mistakes Writer's Make. I'm guilty of quite a few of these myself.

1) Spelling. We all rely too much on the spell checker. Nothing cries out amateur more than gross misspellings in a submission. The spell checker only finds words that are misspelled from its vocabulary, which may have no relation to how they're used in your sentence. The misuse of there/their and they're is a great example. One I make too often.

2) Grammar. It's important to maintain consistency in your use of grammar. I tend to write with quite a few sentence fragments, which is my style. Others right with run-on sentences as a style. Neither is good or bad, just be aware of grammar rules. Break them only when you know them. The On Writing article stresses maintenance of tense also. Can't argue with that.

3) Homophones and similar looking words. Another item that your spell checker won't pick up. Pour or pore. You have to know which is which.

4) Punctuation. Not my forte, but always try to use the proper punctuation, proper use of commas, colons, semi's, etc. I've probably broken the rules ten times in this post alone.

5) Maintenance of Point of View. Old rules are changing. You can shift from one point of view to another in the same chapter now. Even in the same paragraph. But you must do it clearly and elegantly.

I'll keep my eye out for these errors as I'm finishing this final read.

More soon.

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