Reading aloud is one of the best methods that any writer/editor could have stashed under their hat. So many things can be picked up when one hears it compared to reading it. (See post for more information.)
There is a big difference between an em-dash, en-dash and hyphen. They have different uses. But all hope is not lost. Your word-processor will render them while typing. Here’s how.
When I critique and edit writing, there is one common flaw that comes through time and time again. Sometimes, it’s subtle and easily overlooked. But then there are times when it hits you in the face. I’m talking about he said — she said. So here’s the deal. You’re writing a scene with dialogue. The characters are talking at such a pace that your writer’s brain is struggling to keep up. But you’re writing that dialogue as fast as you can. “What’s for dinner?” Billy asked. “Chicken,” Diana answered. “But I don’t like chicken,” Billy said. “Tough, that’s what we’re having,” […]
During a backwards edit, you read a manuscript from the last sentence backwards to the first. When you do this, you’re unable to focus on the story; sentences lose their contextual meaning. As a consequence you focus entirely on the words. (View post for more information.)
Recently, I was skimming through a fellow editor’s website (who shall remain nameless) and encountered a page where people were listing the titles of their manuscripts and their respective genres. OMG, the number of people that listed their genre as FICTION… People, FICTION is NOT a genre. It tells us nothing about your story, except for the fact that it’s made up. And it’s not good enough to tell us the you write Young Adult or Middle-Grade either. All this tells us is who your target audience is. Let’s face it, a science fiction story is very different to a western. […]
Those who live outside of the USA are very familiar with the concept that there are multiple different dictionaries used for English, all depending on what version of English you are using. You heard that right, folks. There is another way to spell those favourite words. And that was one right there: favourite. That’s how those using UK English spell it. Yanks spell it without the ‘u’: favorite. Those working in UK English are conversant in the idea that we add ‘u’s to some words, we have double-consonants in others, and we use an ‘s’ instead of a ‘z’ for […]
The confusion between genre and category is something that plagues every new writer. We’re told that we have to categorise this piece of work that we have spent months, if not years, working on, but we don’t want to fit into a box — we want to be in a circle. So… the question is, what does young adult really mean?
When I tell people that I’m a freelance editor, it’s quite common for people to assume that I spend day in and day out just looking at spelling, grammar and punctuation. I don’t get this reaction from just the general public either. Many writers, especially new writers, also make this assumption. However, editing is so much more.
Writing a manuscript takes time; editing it takes even longer. However, rushing the process is the biggest mistake that any new writer can make. One spends months, if not years, pouring everything, including their heart and soul, into this body of work. It’s only natural to want to see it published — they have dreams. But dreams that are worthwhile require time and effort. Editing a manuscript into something worth reading is not something that happens overnight. There are steps that every manuscript must go through before it finds itself as a book on the selves of your local bookstore. […]