Common Writing Mistakes and Editing Tips for Aspiring Writers

 

 

Via Flickr by Dave Malkoff

Aspiring Writer Common Pitfalls

     Common mistakes aspiring writers make are kind of like playing a game of Pitfall by Atari.  You are the Indian Jones type block character and the writing pitfalls are the quicksand and alligators, which bring death and unsophistication to your writing. 

     With serious edits underway for Pearl of the Sea, I realize I have fallen into the quicksand and let the alligators devour my words and spit them back out. With my whip in hand I am now watching for these pitfalls and am ready to leap over them in one single jump. 

     As we all want to avoid the chomp of alligator teeth and the suffocating death of quicksand I thought I’d pass along what I have learned that has helped me improve my writing. First, are sentences that include –as and –ing. This is something you want to use rarely in your writing as it weakens your sentence structure. Try to use words that end in –ed instead. Second, are the words ending in –ly. –ly words are adjectives, which tells instead of shows character action and/or emotion.

Via Flickr by Matthew C. Wright

Yes, This is Easily Fixable

     You might be looking at your work now and realize how many alligators and quicksand bogs you are headed for. Don’t fret, there are a couple of ways to easily whip these mistakes into shape. First use the Find function, which can be found in the Edit tab. Insert –ing, then –ly, then –as. In most cases you will find the –as words with the –ing words and correct them at that time. Once that is done print off the chapter and read it out loud. Make sure to have a red pen or colored marker handy to highlight or fix anything you did not catch while editing via computer. What I have found works best is to edit one chapter at a time, that way you create a sense of accomplishment, even if it is on a small-scale. 

These are books I found particularly helpful; Write Away by Elizabeth George and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition by Renni Browne and Dave King. 

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Yes, those are some of the most common mistakes we make when writing the first draft.

    Also, I keep a glossary of the words I tend to use too many times and “find” edit and change them.

    Thanks 🙂

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