Tag Archives: editing

EDITING 101: 47 – Dangling Modifiers…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing

Dangling Modifiers

In a previous article, we discussed dangling participles(EDITING 101:24). Today we’re going to discuss dangling modifiers.

If you remember, “dangling” is another word for “misplaced.” A modifier is a noun or an adjective that amends or explains, adding description to another noun. So a dangling modifier is simply a word modifying a noun that is in the wrong place, thereby making the sentence ambiguous or confusing, and sometimes downright funny.

Incorrect: The woman walked the dog in purple suede cowboy boots.

Correct: The woman in purple suede cowboy boots walked the dog.

Incorrect: We saw several monkeys on vacation in Mexico.

Correct: While on vacation in Mexico, we saw several monkeys.

Incorrect: We saw several…

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EDITING 101: 45 – Do All Your Characters Sound Alike?

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing

Do All Your Characters Sound Alike?

In today’s post, we’re not talking about a writer’s voice, or style. We’re talking about the actual voice your characters use in their dialogue or monologues, and character monotones is a chronic problem I see in many of the manuscripts I edit. As the author, you might not realize this is a difficulty in your own writing, but I think once you read this post and the accompanying links, you’ll begin to see what I mean.

Character voice does not mean writing dialect or phonetic accents. This is dialect:

How do you make out?”

How me mek out?” He pointed upwards to the black rafters of the kitchen. “Tatta Fadda a mek Provide-ance…

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EDITING 101: 44 – Using Beta Readers…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing

Using Beta Readers

A Beta Reader is a person who reads your finished novel and gives you feedback on it before publication—while you still have time to make changes. The term “beta reader” has been adapted from the software industry, where programmers release a beta version of a new program to people who will test it. So think of this as someone “test driving” your book!

Having beta readers is an excellent step in writing your novel, as a good beta reader can vastly improve your book. They serve as a second pair of eyes, ensuring that what you’ve intended to write is really what you have written. A beta reader will read your entire manuscript and develop a personal response…

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EDITING 101: 43 – Punctuating Prepositional and Appositive Phrases…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing

Punctuating Prepositional and Appositive Phrases

Wow! That’s a mouthful, eh? I guess we’d better start with definitions before we talk about punctuation.

A prepositional phrase starts with a preposition. Prepositions are words that indicate location—usually in the physical world, but they can also show location in time. Some common prepositions are in, on, behind, at, during, concerning, despite, etc. (click HERE for a complete list) A prepositional phrase looks like this:

  • in the morning

  • behind the dumpster

  • among the pink and blue summer wildflowers

Prepositional phrases can start a sentence. When do you need a comma then? When the phrase contains five or more words. If it contains four or fewer words, no comma is necessary, but it may…

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EDITING 101: 42 – Who, Whom, and other Word Misuses…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing

Who, Whom, and other Word Misuses

Erik (The Kid Who Reviews Books), a frequent visitor and commenter on The Story Reading Ape’s blog, requested a post discussing who and whom. Thanks for the suggestion, Erik, and if anyone else has any requests, please leave them in the comments!

Many writers struggle with when to use “who” and when to use “whom,” which are both pronouns. The technical explanation is that “who” is a subjective pronoun; it should be used to refer to the subject of a sentence. “Whom” is an objective pronoun; it should be used to refer to the object of a sentence.

But unless you like to diagram sentences in your sleep, that’s probably way too…

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EDITING 101: 40 – Editing Myths…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy of Adirondack Editing

Editing Myths

I’m sure you’ve heard of these “rules” that need to be applied to your manuscript. Today we’re going to debunk them as myths!

  1. Never start a sentence with a conjunction (and, but, or), however, or because.

  2. Never end a sentence with a preposition.

  3. Passive voice is always wrong.

  4. You use “a” before words that start with consonants and “an” before words that start with vowels.

  5. Don’t use who when the rules call for whom.

  6. Don’t split an infinitive verb with an adverb.

  7. The only way to write a possessive is to add ’s to the word.

  8. Data and media are plural nouns and always take a plural verb.

  1. Because the English language is fluid and adjustable, there is no…

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EDITING 101: 39 – Writing Your Synopsis and Back Cover Blurbs…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Originally posted as the Dun Writin’—Now Whut? series on this blog, EDITING 101 is a weekly refresher series for some of you and brand new for others.

Courtesy ofAdirondack Editing

Writing Your Synopsis and Back Cover Blurbs

Congratulations on finally finishing your book! But wait a minute…you didn’t think you were done, did you? Naw! You still have to write your synopsis and the blurb for your back cover!

A synopsis is a brief summary of your book for an acquisitions editor or an agent, the key word being “brief.” If you’re a plotter, and have outlined your book before or while writing it, you have an advantage at this point over the pantser, who just let his book happen. You can use your outline and notes to help you condense your book down into a synopsis. A synopsis should be written in third person present tense, which is generally different…

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