Today’s Issue: DIY Grammar
Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at DIY Grammar.
Experts tell us that an author should never do their own editing; to leave it to the professionals. And they have a lot of good reasons for saying that, chief among them is this: you, the author, know what you meant when you wrote the book. Your mind expects to see the words and meaning that you meant to put down; the professional does not. The professional looks at your work with an independent eye and more easily spots poor grammar, etc.
But you and I know we will do our own editing!
The reason is pocketbook easy to understand. Professionals cost money! So, unless we can afford it, we are going to Do It Yourself (DIY).
Being a DIY editor requires time, effort, and honesty. It is that last part that is hard. We get married to phrases, descriptions, etc. and don’t want to change. It is hard, but sometimes necessary to divorce from them.
Some Tips to Help You.
- Use Word’s ABC Word checker which checks for spelling, grammar, and more.
- Don’t rely totally on it though. Sometimes it will want to make corrections that are bizarre! For example, a character may be speaking or thinking in poor grammar. In a novel that is perfectly OK, if it is part of the character’s personality or education.
- Review your book more than once. You could, for example, use one reading to check for general errors, another reading for proper wording, checking sentences, and more.
- Consider having a relative or friend review your book for plot, character development, grammar, and more.
- Before publishing get a printed copy (Proof) and review it again.
After you’re done there will probably still be errors. But that is true with professionals also, though they may deny it. Even Classics have errors.
Tip of the Day: DIY requires time, effort, and honesty. But it’s worth it!
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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.