Friday, November 22, 2013

Common Editing Errors

Happy Friday, good people of the blogosphere! Is it the last day of school for your kids, too? I sit here, cringing with the knowledge mine will be home all next week. Why? Because that means work comes to a screeching halt and I have a zombie novel to edit. About that, I got the most awesome bookmarks in the mail last week. Take a look:

These will be available exclusively at UtopYA Con 2014. 

If you don't have tickets to that event yet, you should. YA authors from all over the world will be there with their wares. You can get your tickets here:

But that's not the topic for today. I'm gonna talk to you about common editing errors in the hopes it'll help you avoid these pitfalls. So, grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going!

Learning to edit a book is like anything else, it takes practice (along with a handy reference guide to what works and what doesn't). Over at INDIE Books Gone Wild, we give editing tips now and then. If you follow them, your book will cost less to have edited by one of us.

Today, I'd like to go into some of the things to watch out for when you're doing those edits.

  1. Watch for homophones. I know that seems like an obvious SMH thing, but they're more common than you think.
  2. Use commas with care. In these two sentences: I went to the window and Bob moved to my side. I went to the window, and Bob moved to my side. You can see the one without the comma flows more easily. While they're both correct, common sense tells you to nix the comma on that one for readability.
  3. Adverbs can be cut if you use stronger verbs. Do a search for ly endings and eradicate by pumping up your prose. Here's a post that goes into that.
  4. Pay attention to pronouns. This is one of the most common errors I find when editing. See a post here about how to see if you're using the right one.
  5. Use contractions! Again, something I find a lot of when editing. We speak in contractions and read them more easily than we do when the words are broken out in two pieces.
  6. Watch out for the big words. Your reader knows you're a writer with a gargantuan vocabulary. Be careful not to shove it down their throats.
  7. Repetition in word use or information given. Okay, you told us his eyes were blue. Either find a new way to describe those peepers or cut the repeated information altogether.
  8. Hunt down your ize and ization words and kill those, too.
  9. KISS your reader. Keep it Simple, Silly. Use shorter words and smaller sentences (but remember to create variation, too) because readers can process information better when you do.
I hope that helps. I'll be working my way through I, Zombie today in an attempt to eradicate my own writing errors.

What do you think? Did you know to watch out for those?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


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