March 4, 2015

National Grammar Day : Grammar & Writing Tips and #IWSG

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (or IWSG) is a wonderful group put together by the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh (which now has an equally cool Facebook group). 

The first Wednesday of each month is the perfect opportunity to share my insecurities on the #IWSG therapy couch, get encouragement and support about such insecurities, and to read how other writers are faring.

I normally reschedule my Wednesday programming -- Grammar & Writing Tips -- to bring you my #IWSG post.

But today is National Grammar Day!

There's something I truly believe every book needs... an editor.

If you choose not to hire one, please ask a grammar-loving friend or acquaintance to help you out. A wonderful story can help me over editing bumps, but it has to be a killer story. Even then, I can hit my limit.

Although I'm an editor for Indie Books Gone Wild, I do not edit my own work. Scratch that. I edit it several times, and then I hand it over to another editor. I'm always embarrassed by what she finds (thank you, Jo Michaels!), which just proves how much you need an unbiased eye. 

If you need a handy guide for your self-edits, check out Grammar Girl's Editing Checklist. It's a great resource!

All that being said, I worry myself to death about mistakes. No book is perfect. I've seen traditionally-published books with mistakes. At some point, you have to let it go. Just don't give readers an easy out; there are too many books out there to choose from.

My insecurity monster has enough to feed on, so I make sure editing issues don't fuel the fire.

What's your biggest editing pet-peeve? Can you look past poor editing for the right book?

Hope everyone has an amazing Wednesday and a month full of words!


Tamara Narayan said...

When I start reading a book, I am in editor mode. If the story doesn't distract me from wanting to rewrite it, then I think, hmmm, this isn't very good.

I haven't seen typos, but I did recently read a novel where the dialogue was full of exposition. Also the ending seemed to follow an oft-used formula of having the female set off alone to confront the bad guy who then delivers a long speech about why he did so many bad things. Not good.

Unknown said...

So many writers think they can do it themselves. Hiring an editor is the best thing a writer can do.

And you're right, no book is perfect. As a reader, I forgive errors for the most part. As long as it isn't so bad that the errors get in the way of a story.

Charity Bradford said...

Amen! Hiring a good editor is so worth it! I'll over look a few problems, but I've also put down books without finishing them because of bad grammar and typos. I want to get lost in the story, not have my brain switch to edit mode.

Diane Burton said...

I agree that no book is perfect, but there shouldn't be so many mistakes that they take you out of the story. I hire a freelance editor for my indie published books. I'm a DIY girl but not with editing my own work.

emaginette said...

I do what you do. I clean up my copy to the best of my ability and get some beta readers in there to point out everything I missed.

It hurts, but I wouldn't do it any other way.

Here's my link if you'd like to drop by :-)

Anna from Shout with Emaginette

Jo Michaels said...

You're too sweet! For what it's worth, I LOVE editing your novels. They're always such great tales. :)

You're embarrassed by what I find? Lady, what you find in my work is just as bad. LOL!


Mary Aalgaard said...

It's a proven fact that we can't see all our own writing mistakes. A good editor is SO IMPORTANT. Bad grammar is poor writing, and poor writing is distracting, and pretty soon you're pulled out of the story, and it's all over.
Play off the Page

Stephsco said...

Since editing goes beyond typos and grammar, yes editing can effect my read. Listening to an audio book can really highlight poor editing. Repetition of word choice, over explaining, and cliches are really glaring when read aloud. A terrific bestseller I read had a lot of editing flaws I noticed while listening to the audio version. Repeating, over explaining, and hammering the reader over the head with obvious concepts are things editors should have their eye on. When we read in print, we can skim. When you listen, it's harder to know what to fast forward through, and you really don't want someone fast forwarding!

Anonymous said...

Before I published my first book, I knew editing was a must. It just made sense. I don't have any pet peeves and I can let mistakes slide, but if they pile up, I do notice.

Arlee Bird said...

If I can easily follow the thought being delivered in the writing, I often don't notice the grammatical errors. But it is a good idea to have at least a second set of eyes checking out ones writing. If I make the mistake I sometimes accept it through my subsequent readings so I am not always the best editor of what I've written.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out