On Editing

Only two days left to send your manuscripts in for the Tweener Time Chapter Book Competition! If you are anything like me, you’re probably panicking right about now, trying to do some last-minute editing. Truth be told, I did most of my proofreading the night before the deadline. It can be an overwhelming task, and possibly the most difficult part of the writing process, but it is important.

While you dive into your revision, here are some simple errors to look out for (and all of these are mistakes that I make):

  • Incorrect: “I haven’t heard from you.” His mother said.
  • Revised: “I haven’t heard from you,” his mother said.
  • Incorrect: “My phone was abducted by aliens”, Johnny explained.
  • Revised: “My phone was abducted by aliens,” Johnny explained.
  • Incorrect: “Are you alright?” she asked.
  • Revised: “Are you all right?” she asked.
  • Incorrect: “After sitting on the steps for thirty minutes, Derek finally picked me up.”
  • Revised (This is a dangling modifier. Look closely and make sure you clarify who was waiting for thirty minutes): “Derek finally picked me up after I had been sitting on the steps for thirty minutes.”

Beware of these commonly confused words– in fact, search for them in your document to make sure they are properly used.

  • Lose/Loose
  • There/Their/They’re (I know this is basic, but I still mess it up every now and then)
  • a lot/allot
  • everyday/every day
  • its/it’s

Besides these few tips, all I can say is good luck! If you grow tired of your manuscript, try reading the chapters in backwards order to keep you aware. It helps me sometimes.

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