The writing journey is just that – a journey. It can be filled with ups and down, roadblocks and detours, but in the end, your path can lead to a published book.
So, as you’re furiously writing or typing away the words of your manuscript, all while keeping our previous tips in mind on how to be a better writer, what narration style to choose and so many more, your mind is likely caught up in the weaving tale of your storyline. For this reason, many authors lose sight of the technical aspects of their writing.
Today, we want to move that portion of the writing process off of the back burner and into the forefront. Here are three easy writing mistakes to avoid.
1. Avoid repetition – Do you find yourself using the same words or phrases over and over again while writing? Do your characters always “exclaim” when they’re excited, or are there certain transition words that are peppered throughout the contents of your book? Many authors have an arsenal of go-to words that they use frequently. To avoid repetition, simply shake the dust of your trusty thesaurus and find a synonym to diversify your writing.
2. Commas – Sometimes commas get lost in the shuffle of writing and are commonly misplaced or underused. That said, here are a few basic rules associated with comma usage:
- Commas belong inside of quotation marks.
Example: “Hello,” he replied.
- Commas follow an introductory word, phrase or clause.
Example: “Robert, a very good basketball player, scored the winning basket.”
- Commas are used after a dependent clause that starts a sentence.
Example: “When I went jogging, I saw a dog.”
3. Technicalities – In a previous blog we offered insight on some common grammatical questions. To build on that topic, here are a couple more grammar qualms you might run into along the way.
- Its/it’s – Be on the lookout for confusion between the two. Sometimes word processors can’t catch the mistake if they’re used in the wrong context, so it never hurts to refresh your memory on the difference between the two. Here’s a quick recap: “Its” shows possession, while “it’s” is the contraction of “it is.”
- Vague pronouns – Avoid vague pronouns which would make it difficult for the reader to identify the noun to which the pronoun is referring. While writing, be sure that the pronouns that you use appropriately refer to a specific, identifiable noun.
If you happen to see these errors in your book’s writing, don’t get discouraged. Just keep these tips in mind and during the proofreading process pay close attention to your content and punctuation.
In the end, the most important reason that you’re writing is because you have a book inside of you that’s waiting to come out.