How to Proofread your Posts (or Novel)

The White Corner Creative at  https://www.whitecornercreative.com/

Though proofreading is something that a lot of people don’t think a lot about, it is one of the most vital parts of publishing a blog post. Writing and content is important, but it doesn’t mean anything if your readers can’t make it through your post because of errors. A while back I wrote a post HOW TO PROOFREAD YOUR POSTS BEFORE PUBLISHING because it’s very important to have a system in place so that proofreading every post is easy, and having a list of things to edit for will help.

Having a list is a great way to stay organized and create a strategy. You should build from my list and make one that applies to you – because everyone struggles with different elements of writing. Though you may be excellent at spelling or grammar, you might struggle with certain tenses or verbs, and you should put those specific examples on your list to make sure you always catch the mistakes. So, start with this list, and use it to create your own! Here’s what I’ve got so far – I’ll be adding things as I think of them over time!

Clichés

Clichés are the worst. They are as stinky as old cheese. They are just a waste of time. They are just gut wrenching. You see where I’m going with this, right? I wrote a post a little while ago – PRO WRITING: CLICHES – HOW TO AVOID THEM & WHY YOU NEED TO. If you’re not careful, clichés can really drag down a good post. Make sure to edit every post for them!

Tense

Though tense isn’t something many people think about, it can ruin a post if you let it. Tense means switching back and forth between present, past, future, etc. in your writing. Of course, switching around is okay if you’re talking about things that happened versus things that are going to happen, but most people do it all in one post that should be written in the same time-period. For more information about tense and how to do it right you can read my post PRO WRITING: HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR TENSE.

Grammar

There are so many different grammar rules that you need to keep an eye out for when you are proofreading your posts. In my opinion, the most important ones are commas and apostrophes. When they are placed right, they help your writing make sense and go unnoticed, but when they are wrong they can break the flow and really tear your writing apart. I don’t have a post on grammar just yet – mostly because I need to figure out how to properly use commas myself (they are my weakness) but proofreading will help you catch the most obvious grammar mistakes.

Headline Grammar

You may or may not know this, but your headlines have their own grammar. The rules apply mostly to how you should capitalize them. There are certain words that you never capitalize, certain words you always should, and certain words that depend on where they are placed. For some details, you can check out my post HEADLINE GRAMMAR – HOW TO CAPITALIZE AND WHY YOU SHOULD, because headlines are a vital part of every post, and a grammar error there might warn people off before they even start reading.

Verbs

Verbs are the most powerful parts of every sentence. Front and center is where you want them in every sentence, and they should have true meaning. When I started out in school for professional writing, one of the exercises, we repeated over again and again, was to go through a piece and highlight every single verb. Then we would go through it again and make sure every one of those was as strong as it could be. Verbs can be weak in a few different ways. The first is when you haven’t chosen the right one. For example, why say ‘running fast’ when you could say ‘sprinting’. It cuts out a necessary word and has such a more powerful meaning. The second is when the verb you intend to use isn’t really the verb at all. If you say ‘I am writing for my readers’, ‘am’ is the verb, though you probably meant it to be ‘writing’. Instead change the sentence to ‘I write for my readers’. You can already tell how the sentence feels so much more powerful, and the meaning is truly what you intended.

Similar words

This one is something that a lot of people struggle with, and it’s something that really bothers a lot of people. When you use the wrong form or spelling of a word. There are hundreds of different examples of this, and everyone struggles with different ones. Some of the most common are:

they’re, there, their

right, write

its, it’s

two, too, to

then, than

You should make a list of the ones that you struggle with the most, and then make sure to edit for those on every post. Once you do this enough, using the right forms will be something automatic for you.

Spelling

Spelling is the first thing that people think of when they imagine proofreading, but it is only one small element in a long list of things to edit for. Most programs like Microsoft Word check your spelling as you write, and now WordPress even does it right in the post editor window. These are the spelling errors that are easy to catch because they are pointed out to you. But, you also need to proofread the post and check for spelling errors yourself, you can’t just rely on the built-in editor. This is because the editors are just checking that the words you type are real words spelt correctly, they don’t check that they make sense in the sentence or are the correct word. Read over a post yourself to see that all the words you meant to type ended up there.

Once you’ve built a list of things to edit for that’s custom tailored to you and the things you struggle with, print it off and use it every time you write and edit a post. Eventually you’ll start to catch fewer errors, and eventually you might overcome some of your writing problems altogether!

AMAZON’S TIPS FOR WRITERS & AUTHORS & BLOGGERS

 

From the of author of a dozen thrillers, use these tips from entrepreneur Mark Dawson suggests:

 

  • 1. have at least one free book on offer;

 

  • 2. build a loyal following via interaction;

 

  • 3. have a well thought out and researched marketing plan before you begin to spend your budget.

 

From the Founder of the Alliance of Independent Writers, Orna Roberts suggests:

 

     4 . develop your own email distribution list as one of your key pillars in your marketing plan,

 

      5. speed up your operation by using a database manager like Mail chimp and

 

6. don’t start spending money on advertising until you have at least three books out there.

7. So far, there have been two other Amazon Academy events on this side of the pond: one previously in Dublin and this one in London. And there will be one more in Newcastle coming soon! After that, Amazon will review feedback to see if they will do it again.

8. And I, for one, hope they will.

 

I THINK I may have finally found a new book-boyfriend… EEEEKKKKK!!!

Didi has a great sense of personal style that is fresh, smart, and current and a has a great sense of humor and perfect timing for comedy….just innocently adorable. She always does great reviews that are true to the book she has read. I love her writing! at https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Didi Oviatt

Is it weird that sometimes I feel like book characters are actual real live people?  I know I’m not the only person with this problem, but I think sometimes it actually IS a problem.  You see, I’ve been kind of down in the dumps lately, and I’ve had a hard time putting a finger on why.  Today I pinpointed the problem… It was actually a bitter sweet moment for me, and it all roots back to the “connection”  I have with the books I read.  I KNOW FOR A FACT that several of you will completely relate!!

Here is why I’ve been down:

Every book I’ve read since NOVEMBER has left me high and dry on the whole ‘find a new book-boyfriend’ aspect. Don’t get me wrong I’ve came across some pretty amazing characters, and if my last book boyfriend wouldn’t have been so stellar then they might have stolen my…

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The Medicine wheel.

As John Coyote writes, “I believe we are one people. Peace will come when we learn to work together.” I believe that John Coyote’s Medicine Wheel is beautiful and true, it is essential if we want to save ourselves and the planet. This is a wonderful post. A must read.

johncoyote

The Medicine wheel

A Poem by Coyote Poetry

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Old Native American wisdom. We need to gather as one people to save earth and all people.

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Wisdom of the Medicine wheel.

(I have been lucky. Many kind Native American took me under their wing and taught me how to find peace.)

At the Mall I went to the so-call Native American store.
A Middle East man tried to sell me a China’s made items.
I touched a Medicine Wheel.

I told the man.
“A proper Medicine Wheel has the power of the four winds.”
I touched a  Dream Catcher.
“A real one would protect your spirit and keep bad dreams away.”

He grins at me.
He didn’t understand a word that I spoke.
He told me.
“Does the same things.”
I leave the store with nothing.

Sitting with my Apache Friend outside the gate of Fort Hood, Texas.
I sat…

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Poets on Poetry

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry, I surmise, came into being with the first words of rhythm, by some primative human, banging on a drum of sorts, and I suppose after a time, it became the method to express complex emotions of the lovelorn, the limerick, and the soul searchers.  Here are a few thoughts from several great poets and thoughts on what poetry is and the elements that allow it to be called poetry. Of course what I have listed here is only a sample version of the complexities involved in understanding and writing great poetry.

‘Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.’  William Wordsworth

‘A good poet is someone who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightning five or six times; ….and then…he is a great [poet].’  Randall Jarrell

In simple terms, ‘Poetry is a type of literature, or artistic writing, that attempts to stir a reader’s imagination or emotions. The poet does this by carefully choosing and arranging language for its meaning, sound, and rhythm. Some poems, such as nursery rhymes, are simple and humorous.’ www.britannica.com

‘In the case of free verse, the rhythm of lines is often organized into looser units of cadence. Poetry in English and other modern European languages often uses rhyme. Rhyme at the end of lines is the basis of a …. common poetic forms, such as ballads, sonnets and rhyming couplets.’ www.poetry.org

‘Some elements of poetry are rhyme scheme, meter …. and word sounds like alliteration. These are sometimes collectively called sound play because they take advantage of the performative, spoken nature of poetry. Rhyme is the repetition of similar sounds.’ www.learn.lexiconic.net

The following is one of my rhyming poems (sort of)

BENEATH A SATIN MOON

In a golden wood

Beneath a painted sky,

A paper house is standing

Beneath a satin moon,

And in the garden growing,

 Pastel flowers flourish,

And never lose their bloom,

Winter, summer, spring or fall,

As lovely as they are,

They never see a raindrop fall.

And Tiger lilies, made of silk,

Slink around a lily pond,

Of which they are, you know,

Quite fond,

As gilded Goldfish swim

Amidst the frilly lilies,

They gaze upon the heavens

Reflecting all they see,

In nature’s perfect harmony,

 All this of course,

 Is nothing more

Than pure imagery,

Yet, none the less,

 it interests me!

Copyright Karen Dowdall 2005