Do I have your attention? This has nothing to do with my blog, but….
Saturday I gave a workshop for the Southern Magic Romance Writers in Birmingham, Alabama. Most of me was excited! Part of me feared the PowerPoint presentation wouldn’t work or that the slides would make no sense to anyone but me. And then part of me dreaded finding that no one cared about grammar and punctuation needed for editing. I knew writers would listen and participate in a workshop about characterization, plotting, setting, or other writerly topics.
To a lot of authors editing means reading a manuscript 2 or three times without knowing what the need to find and fix. Here a some suggestions for editing for anyone, including college students.
Editing Checklist 10 things +2
- Be prepared for more than one round of edits. MAKE TIME!
- Read each sentence out loud, word for word. MAKE TIME!
- Look for its and it’s, your and you’re, and there, they’re, and their.
Read it is each time you see it’s. Read they are each time you see they’re. Read you are for you’re. You can catch errors that way! I found a few my computer gremlin changed! I don’t do those, but I did!
- Check dialogue punctuation. http://theeditorsblog.net/2010/12/08/punctuation-in-dialogue/
- Nouns of address require commas before and after them. Where are you going, young man? Where, young man, are you going? Young man, where are you going? Young man is the noun of address. If addressing parents– I want to go, Mom. Please come with me, Dad.
- Too and to. Too means also or in excess. He was too tall for the car. He wanted pie, too. When too means also, you need a comma. Check also, too. I’ll have a burger and a sandwich, also.
- Make sure you close quotations. “She is my favorite person, Bull said. Go back and add “ after person.
- Check names for consistent spelling, details about characters, and timelines.
- In, into, on, and onto. You run into the house, but you shouldn’t run in the house.(Once you get inside, stop running) The dog jumped onto the couch. He got into trouble for jumping on the bed. (He was already on the bed when he started jumping.) INTO and ONTO suggest location changes. IN and ON don’t.
- Connect independent clauses with and , or, and but AND A COMMA. I found the answers, I shared them. (NOPE, 2 sentences or add and after the comma. I found the answers, and I shared them. I found the answers. I shared them.
- Use italics to show internal dialogue only if it what a character would say if he spoke the words. He wondered where his sister was. HE WOULD NOT SAY THESE WORDS. Where can my sister be? HE WOULD SAY THESE WORDS OUT LOUD. HE MIGHT BE TALKING TO HIMSELF, MUMBLING OR SPEAKING.
- If all sentences sound alike, use different structures.
Smiling, he grabbed the pie. Looking around, he sneaked a bite.
Chewing carefully, he savored each bite.
SMILING, HE GRABBED THE PIE. HE LOOKED AROUND AND THEN SNEAKED A BITE. CHEWING CAREFULLY, HE SAVORED EACH BITE.
OR HE SAVORED EACH BITE AS HE CHEWED CAREFULLY.
My first paid webinar/ lesson is on the schedule for Tuesday, April 4, so I need to get busy and make more slides.
Editing to Make Your Writing Stronger # 1
Hosted by Mary Marvella Edits
04/04/2017 07:00 PM
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