To Err is . . .

. . . human.  Sure, of course it is.  But to err as a writer is not a good thing.

As an editor, I make mistakes; I may miss the odd typo or don’t see for looking <slap on wrist>.  That’s human, but not professional.  Nor is it professional for a writer to make errors.  Yes, there may be an editor to catch things, and that’s fine . . . to a point.  I believe, from both the writing and editing perspectives, that it’s important—as I’ve often stated—to  demonstrate competence.

So, why don’t we review those things that writers, perhaps more specifically new ones, make.  Here is some food for thought . . .

Say, as that new writer, you’ve determined what you want to write, how you’re going to present it, and that you’ve perhaps even completed it.  Are you going to send it off—to an agent or publisher?  Perhaps.  But maybe you’d like to review it first (emphasis on the maybe, as in “yes”)?  First drafts should not be final drafts.

Have you checked out the genre your book embraces?  There are certain practices that should be followed; readers of given genres have certain expectations.  A great way to see what’s what: read, read, read (learn, learn, learn) as many books as you can in your given/preferred genre.

Does the story/book start with a strong opening—one that attracts the reader (wants him/her to continue reading)?  If not, consider how you might make it more tantalizing/gripping/intriguing.

On a similar note, does that opening provide too much background or history from the get-go?  If it does, again, consider how you might make it, yes, more tantalizing/gripping/intriguing.

Are you telling as opposed to showing?  Sounding like a colleague spewing facts and figures at a never-ending meeting?  Mix in dialogue and action with the details and descriptions.  Add friction and tension.  Speaking of telling, what about the voice, the narrative?  Does it flow naturally or sound forced/stilted?  Is it repetitive?  Don’t repeat details or have characters recounting events and the like over and over . . . and over and over . . . and over again.

And what about your plot (storyline)?  Is it strong?  Does it keep the reader interested?  Are there any holes (errors) in it?  Does the action flow (is there logical progression)?  Are loose ends tied up?

What about typos and grammatical inconsistencies and punctuation errors?  Getting feedback is a good thing.  Ask friends and folks to read/review your book.  If you can, hire an editor, but if you can’t, there are a lot of wonderful writers’ groups to be found on social media; ask if someone would be interested in helping a fellow writer.

If you’re submitting to an agent and publisher, learn what the submission requirements are . . . and make certain, when you submit, your query is professionally presented.

That’s it, that’s all.  For now.  <LOL>  Happy writing . . . and editing.

Author: tylerus

I'm primarily a writer of fiction and blog posts, and a sometimes editor and proofreader of books, manuals, and film/television scripts. Fact-checking and researching, organizing and coordinating are skills and joys (I enjoy playing detective and developing structure). My fiction audience: lovers of female-sleuth mysteries. My genres of preference: mysteries (needless to say), women’s fiction, informative and helpful “affirmative” non-fiction. So-o, here I am, staring up a new blog for aspiring and established e-Book writers. The plan: to share the (long) journey of getting to this stage, and share "learnings" and "teachings". There's a lot I hope to accomplish with this blog, but it may be a while before that happens as there's a lot on the ol' plate - taking care of Mom, working full-time, and attempting to get another book in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series written (never mind blog postings and other writing projects). It's very challenging and it's all good. As I like to say: teeny focused baby steps are just as effective as long forceful strides. It may take a little longer, but we will get there.

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