Have you ever witnessed errors in a book and wondered how on earth that passed through the editing process? I have, and it was not only in a big-time published book, it has been in my own work as well. No matter how you go through editing, revisions, editing, revisions, sometimes typos come up.
But there are a few things that SHOULDN’T happen in your work, no matter what genre you write in or how many books you have already put on the shelf. These errors just shouldn’t be allowed to exist. Stab ’em to death.
Here are 5 points to make about writing errors.
- Wrong endings-rushed endings. We all know that it is a true gift to be able to write a full-length novel and weave a story worthy of a reader’s time. But why on earth would you go through that whole page count thing only to end up at THE END with an ending that utterly leaves the reader feeling bereft? When the ending feels like the writer just ran out of steam, I want to throw my e-reader out of the window. You cannot give the reader an ending that doesn’t work. The ending is the dot on the end of the sentence, and we want it to feel satisfactory.
- Pet words and phrases. I am a ‘that, very, just’ person. Those pet words crop up in my writing all the time. You probably noted that just reading this blog post. Those pet words that are usually unnecessary can be and should be deleted. Also, if you are a I knew, I felt, I thought, writer, then yes, that too should be examined. Most times if you say “I knew that slamming door meant something” – you can leave off the I knew. It is stronger writing to NOT tell us what you as the first person protag knows, sees, feels, or thinks. We are already in your head.
- Neglecting spell-check or grammar-check. Look, I am from the south. I speak about as disgustingly improper as it gets. But that doesn’t mean I should make my writing sound like I speak. The only one who gets to talk like I talk is a character. Dialog aside, be sure to make everything RIGHT. Be sure to read stuff out loud. You will catch more that way.
- Repeat for emphasis, not out of forgetfulness. It is totally fine to use the rule of three in your books or stories. Dickens even did it. It is not fine to repeat yourself because you were too lazy to go back and check to see if you had said this before only in another way. The readers do not need a two-by-four to the head to get the info you are imparting.
- Keep your descriptions relevant. I know, this one is going to get you to raise your eyebrows a little. I know. I am the SPARSEST description writer out there. It’s a problem for me. But there are those who get SO wrapped up in setting and description that readers flip through the pages of it to get to the story. If you have beta readers, they will need to call you on this problem. Description is good, but it can be overdone. No one wants to have to skip over long paragraphs of text about the trees lining the plain.
Well, I guess that does it for me for today. I am going to try to have a few more craft posts on the blog because well, that’s what I like to do. If you have suggestions on subjects you want to see covered, please drop me a line in the comments below.
Happy Error/Errors Checking!