This month's topic is: All books go through multiple edits. What have you learned are your problems, and what irks you about editing?
Editing is very important. No writer writes without making mistakes in wording, structure, or punctuation. Even though my books have been edited multiple times, I still find errors in read-throughs. I hate that when the story is already published!
My common mistakes include:
1. Using the wrong name or misspelling the name for a specific character.
2. Misspelled words. I'm a terrible speller, always have been. I am better than I used to be, but spellings change with time too. I really like online dictionaries with a thesaurus, because I can change out some of the words listed in #4.
3. Misplaced commas, periods, and apostrophes. Since I've started writing, I've become better but when I discover them in published books I am frustrated.
4. Repetition of my unconsciously used favorite words. I keep a list now and try to run through the list to see how many of my over-used words show up. Words like remained, just, like, that, there, before, suddenly, however, although, and through, and also 'and then.'
5. Another mistake I've made is misplaced modifiers, like: I found my dog driving my car.
I make other mistakes, those are just my common ones. If you have a critique partner who is very good with grammar, you are lucky, but if not, a good way to discover mistakes is to read the writing aloud.
The digital world is changing this. Many writing programs like MS Word now have grammar help. Word also allows you to keep a separate dictionary for certain writings, which helps. The Grammarly site is also a great new readily available help source. While this free program catches many mistakes in wording and punctuation, it is not always correct, so users have to be careful. It even works on online-writing like this blog.
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Dr. Bob Rich