43 Words You Should Cut From Your Writing Immediately

lolcat-delete-300x146“43 Words You Should Cut From Your Writing Immediately” by Diana Urban | 8th September, 2015 | Diana Urban.

“When you’re revising any piece of writing — a novel, a news article, a blog post, marketing copy, etc. — there are certain words you should delete to make the text stronger and cut your word count. When I’m writing a novel, one of my last drafts focuses on cutting these useless words. Removing them helps speed up the pacing of both action and dialogue, and makes your work more polished and professional. While this might not be the ultimate list of all words you should remove, these are the ones I look for when I’m doing revisions, so I thought other writers out there would find this helpful! Also, my examples below might be exaggerated, but I hope they get the points across.

Words you should delete

Really, very. These are useless modifiers. You should be able to find stronger verbs or adjectives for whatever you’re trying to enhance. For example, “He ran very quickly along the really long field.” can be, “He sprinted across the vast field.”

That. If a sentence still makes sense after removing “that,” delete it. For example, “This is the most amazing blog post that I’ve ever read.” can be, “This is the most amazing blog post I’ve ever read.””

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“The book didn’t sell and yes, I was mean-spirited enough to rejoice”: An essay on the dark arts of book editing

“The book didn’t sell and yes, I was mean-spirited enough to rejoice”: An essay on the dark arts of book editing by Stephen Stratford | 14th April, 2016 | The Spinoff.

One of New Zealand’s best and most illustrious book editors, Stephen Stratford (“I am a polite person, mostly”), vents about having to deal with writers and publishers.

What I dread #1
When meeting someone new, the question I most dread is, “What do you do?” It is really hard to answer. As a freelancer, I do lots of different stuff – writing manuscripts, assessing manuscripts, editing manuscripts. I never call myself a writer – at best I am an author; it is too tedious to explain what assessing manuscripts means. I can’t talk about the Secret Television Business or what I do for Creative New Zealand. So I say, “I am a book editor.”

And then the someone new launches into a monologue on their pet hates about punctuation and grammar and what gets published in newspapers and magazines and how it’s all wrong because it’s not what they learned in school.

They are always – always – wrong.

They think that the rules they learned in school are the right rules for every occasion. I am a polite person, mostly, so I never ask them what year their teacher taught them this, and what year their teacher might have been taught this by their teacher, and what year that teacher’s teacher’s teacher might have been taught this. We are back in the 19th century by now. They think that fiction should follow the same rules as non-fiction. They have no idea about register, voice, tone, about how fiction works.

This is also true of some editors.”

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The Importance of Proofreading

proofreadingWhen advertising submissions markets, writing a blog, sending manuscripts to beta readers and/ or an edit, zipping off a tweet, updating Facebook, writing reviews or spruiking yourself and/ or a book it is crucial to use correct grammar, punctuation and spelling.

What you write, and how you write it, is your branding.

Today, while researching submission markets and writerly articles, I came across several simple errors that could have been picked up by proofreading. It seems, to me, it is becoming common practice to tap something out, publish it and promptly forget it.
Readers want to read an article, book, etc. without tutting over silly mistakes, putting the book down, or leaving the website.

The aim is to entice readers to read your work and encourage writers to submit to your market.

Mistakes in writing discourages writers  from submitting to markets in case the errors, found in the advertisement, are a foreshadowing of inept editors and/ or publishers.

Nothing turns writers and readers away quicker than editing mistakes.

 Image Source: Jablonski Marketing

Dangling Participles

Dangling Participles“Dangling Participles” by Mignon Fogarty, Grammar Girl. 25 July, 2013. Quick and Dirty Tips.

What Is a Participle?

Before we talk about what it means to dangle a participle, we have to answer the question What is a participle?

It’s a tough question because participles have a few different jobs. Today, we’re only going to talk about their job that makes them look like adjectives. They tell you more about the noun that follows.

Participles can be in the present tense or the past tense, and the present participle always ends with “ing.” For example, “dream” is a verb, and “dreaming” is its present participle. “Speed” is a verb, and “speeding” is its present participle. To use the verb, you could say, “He will speed on the freeway.”  “Speed” is an action, a verb.

To use “speeding” as an adjective-like participle, you could say “Follow that speeding car.” “Speeding” acts something like an adjective modifying the noun “car.” It tells you what the car is doing—what kind of car it is—a speeding car.

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