6 Tips for National Grammar Day

Had no idea it was National Grammar Day. Didn’t even know that was a thing.

To celebrate National Grammar Day, we have an infographic on what some folks feel are advanced grammar mistakes. These grammar tips go beyond the basics because even the most seasoned writer can make a mistake. Highlights include the misuse of number and numeral and split infinitives. The English language has many obscure grammar rules that…

via 6 Tips for National Grammar Day — Indies Unlimited

12 Weaknesses to look out for when editing your novel – Guest Post Megg Geri

Here’s more information on editing and revising you might find useful.



So, you’ve written your novel and now you need to start revising your first draft so that you can get it as polished as possible before sending it off to your editor. If you can focus on correcting these 12 weaknesses to look out for when editing your novel you will help to save yourself money as well as really get clear on your own story.

The first draft is as bad as the book is ever going to be

~ Robin Stevens

Once you’ve finished your first draft you can actually start working on your story. Now you start finding gaps and really get to know your characters. You thought you knew everything about your story already? NO! By revising your manuscript you will get to know your story on a completely different level.

But, how do you craft this vomit on your page into the book…

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Cleaning Up the Mess

#writersofinstagram #writing #writer #iwrite #lifeofawriter #writerslife #author #authorsofinstagram #quote #inspirationalquoteoftheday #motivation #amreading #booklover #bookstagram #books #booklove #bookishIn a previous post, I offered a list of rules to follow to finish your first draft. Now that you have completed your draft, it’s time to clean up the mess.

As I stated previously, your draft is going to be messy. It’s going to need revisions. You’ll need to smooth out transitions, make grammar corrections, and deepen content. The revising and editing process can be daunting for some, but I’ve learned a few things over the years that have made the whole editing and revising process a little less painful.

Take a break. It’s a good idea to step away from the manuscript for a few days or even weeks before you jump into revising and editing. Work on another project. Take a vacation. Finish the to-do list that’s been hanging on your refrigerator for the last three months. Then, when you’re ready to revise and edit, you’ll see your manuscript with fresh eyes.

Get Organized.  Clean off your desk and give yourself a comfortable space to work. Get all research finished before you start revisions, and organize all your notes. Have any grammar or reference books you might need within easy reach.

Clear your calendar. Tell your family and friends you’re busy, clear your calendar, and designate time to get the revisions done. Prepare meals ahead of time and freeze them. Hire a dogsitter. Send the kids to Grandma’s house. Do whatever you have to do to free up time.

Set a goal. Decide on a page count goal and stick to it. Don’t stop until you’re done.

Read and take notes. Read all the way through the entire manuscript once and make notes. Make a list of questions that need to be answered and scenes you need to add. Jot down places where you need to add more details. Decide where chapter breaks need to be. Stay connected to the story.

Take one bite at a time. Once you’ve read through the entire manuscript, break it into 20 or 30 page chunks. Focus only on these pages and look for specific things.

Play nice. Only let your internal editor come out if he/she promises to play nice. It’s ok to be critical of your work, but don’t change things so much that you lose your voice as a writer. Your voice makes you who you are.

Things to look for when revising and editing:

  • Include the senses in every scene. Include details, but not excessive details. Leave room for the imagination.
  • Make sure the plot makes sense. Every scene should move the story forward. Kill the fancy sentences that don’t move the plot along. Refer back to your storyboard if necessary.I have felt like this before. Many times.
  • Keep your Point of View consistent throughout.
  • Create believable tension on every page. Your characters should have goals and motivation, but there should be conflict that keeps them from achieving their goal. Keep their goal just out of reach until the very end. The reader has to want to continue the journey to see what happens.
  • Prompts and hooks. Hook readers with the opening lines. Leave a chapter with a question. Make the reader want to know what’s going to happen next.
  • Make your dialogue real. Eliminate small talk. Characters should speak their personality, gender, and age. There is nothing wrong with he said, she said, but use action tags or beats if you can.
  • Balance dialogue, introspection, and action.
  • Look for cliches.
  • Ditch the backstory. Give the reader the tip of the iceberg by weaving in small bits of information. Let them wonder about the rest.
  • Reveal character quirks and ticks.
  • Make sure you don’t have too many story threads. All threads should lead back to the main trail.
  • Create a balance between long sentences and shorter ones. See the example below.Great example of why students should vary sentence structure.
  • Tighten word choice. Eliminate filler words and use strong action verbs. Check for redundancy. Avoid flowery writing.
  • Create smooth transitions.
  • Edit for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and verb tense. Many sources suggest reading through your manuscript backwards to catch grammar and spelling mistakes you might otherwise overlook. And reading out loud allows you to hear errors you might not see through reading.

Once you’ve cleaned up the mess, let the book sit for at least a week before you read through 'it is perfectly okay  to write garbage -- as long as you edit brilliantly." - C.J. Cherryh #NaNoWriMo #writingit one more time. Then hand it to a critique partner who can give you constructive feedback.

Everyone has their own style when it comes to revising and editing. Some writers are very systematic, others are more relaxed about the process. Do whatever works for you. When I revise and edit, I end up reading through my manuscript multiple times. I concentrate on something different every time. My first read might focus on dialogue. The next time I read through it, I might add details or delete unnecessary scenes and sentences. There is no right or wrong way to clean up your writing. It’s simply a matter of preference. Be true to yourself. Otherwise you'll never feel fulfilled or satisfied with what you produce.

Author Confessions Round 6

Day seven of author confessions- What word do you use way too much?

This question makes me laugh because I have many words I use too often–looked, wp-1484512647273.jpglaughed, smiled. When I write a draft, the main purpose is to get the story on paper. Revising and editing, along with the many writing resources I own, clean up the writing and allow me to insert or change words and phrases into something more descriptive and fluid. That stage takes a long time only because I try to express character actions and feelings in creative ways without using unnecessary vocabulary or losing my unique writing voice.

Edit, Edit or Edit?

Good article about editing.

Writing your first novel-Things you should know


Well that is true, but it’s only one type of editing, and there are three different types listed in the article. The article also noted that a novel length manuscript needed to go through all three types before it was submission ready.

Developmental Edit – better known as the content editing, story editing, structural editing or substantive editing. This edit looks at the big picture of your novel and focuses on

  • character arcs/development
  • pacing
  • story structure
  • pot holes or inconsistencies
  • strong beginning, middle and end
  • plausibility/believability
  • clear transitions
  • point of view
  • showing vs. telling
  • dialogue

Copy Edit – copy editing is the one most of us think of when we hear editor. He comes on the…

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19 Self-editing Tips

If you’re in that editing stage and looking for some tips, this is helpful.

Help! Help!

Now that I’ve published my first novel, To Hunt a Sub, I can say from experience that writing it and editing it took equally long periods of time (and marketing is just as involved). After finishing the final rough draft (yeah, sure) and before emailing it to an editor, I wanted it as clean possible. I searched through a wide collection of self-editing books like these:

The Novel Writer’s Toolkit by Bob Mayer

Self-editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne

The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing by Evan Marshall

…and came up with a list of fixes that I felt would not only clean up grammar and editing, but the voice and pacing that seemed to bog my story down. Here are ideas you might like:

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EDITING 101: 08 – Using Song Lyrics in your Manuscript…

Good information to know.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Using Song Lyrics in your Manuscript

You’ve just written the most perfect restaurant love scene imaginable. As your two main characters unite on the dance floor, the haunting strains of “Unchained Melody” play in the background. The lovers gaze deeply into each other’s eyes as the song’s lyrics pass through their ears, melding their souls together in acoustical rapture:

Oh, my…”

Wait! Stop! Halt!! Turn off the radio, unplug the phonograph, and disconnect your online radio station! Are you crazy? Are you looking for a lawsuit?

<Author looks around incredulously>

Who, me? Now what does this woman want me to do? Eliminate the perfect words from this scene?”

Yep, that’s exactly what I want you to do. You’re not…

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