More good help from Louise Harnby, via Chris the Story Reading Ape. This piece on point of view contains some excellent, clear examples if POV gives you fits.
No names shall be mentioned, but I’ve been seeing an awful lot of “head-hopping” in works by some well-regarded authors; I’ve learned not to gripe when it’s clear writers have built up faithful followings for whom what bugs me doesn’t even register.
Still. It DOES bug me. The minute your reader stops to scratch their head, you’ve lost them, even if for only a moment.
So I say, be purists about point of view!
Tag Archives: editing a book
This piece accords with my experience. I haven’t used the “pro” versions of editing software, so maybe they would work better than the free versions, but I’ve found that the suggestions are wrong as often as they are right. Here’s a quote from the article that I agree with:
“A person with no knowledge of grammar will not benefit from relying on Grammarly or any other editing program for advice. There is no way to bypass learning the craft of writing.”
Do you agree? If not, why not?
I rely on my knowledge of grammar and what I intend to convey more than I do editing programs, which are not as useful as we wish they were.
You may have found that your word processing program has spellcheck and some minor editing assists. Spellcheck is notorious for both helping and hindering you.
Spellcheck doesn’t understand context, so if a word is misused but spelled correctly, it may not alert you to an obvious error.
- There, their, they’re.
- To, too, two.
- Its, it’s
Grammarly is an editing program I use for checking my own work, in tandem with Pro Writing Aid. I pay a monthly fee for the professional versions of these two programs. Each one has strengths and weaknesses.
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And now a completely different opinion on whether you can or should replace Word. I’m not the best judge here because my old Word still works fine for me. The phrase “industry standard” does carry some weight; again, it may come down to the question of how many obstacles you want to put between yourself and your prospective agent or editor. What do you think?
When your book is ready for editing, it’s time to pack it neatly into an industry-standard file format. Whether you write in dedicated writing software like Scrivener or key your story into Google Docs after writing it longhand, a finished novel isn’t a private creative endeavor or hobby anymore. Now it’s a product for an industry with professional standards and technical requirements.
If your manuscript is destined for a literary agent, freelance editor, formatter, designer, publisher, or other professional, the standard format is Microsoft Word.
Writers in the Storm often supply good lessons. This is a particularly cogent first-page critique that takes aim at some my worst foibles: too many metaphors, authorial intrusions, details readers don’t need, details they do need–what about you? How would you rate this first page?