The Writer’s Toolkit: Common Sense Editing

The Frugal Editor

Congratulations you’ve written a book! You are ready to dip your toe into the ocean called submission. STOP. Whether you’ve made one or hundreds of revisions to your query letter or manuscript, take a moment and read this book.

I love the way Carolyn Howard-Johnson describes one of the biggest obstacles writers face: GREMLINS. We all know what she is talking about. She’s talking about the inevitable: what can go wrong will go wrong.  There will be an error in grammar, format, punctuation or style in your writing. It’s like GREMLINS are doing their best to send you off course.

Let’s face it sometimes it is our fault. We are tired, careless or not informed. We don’t catch the punctuation or grammar error. We are the GREMLINS.

Sometimes it’s our fault but not really. Our brain auto-corrects and sees what should be there but isn’t. GREMLINS.

Other times we don’t know the current grammar rule or usage that is acceptable to agents, editors and publishers who Howard- Johnson calls the gatekeepers. GREMLINS.

There are even those times when word processing programs auto correct or format in odd ways. Who hasn’t noticed how format goes crazy when you copy and paste into e-mail? GREMLINS.

There can be instances where word processing spell and grammar checks make mistakes. GREMLINS.

So what is a writer to do? You could spend hours reading books on grammar and punctuation or you could hire a professional editor. Both are good options but you could read this book AND TAME THE GREMLINS.

This is an easy to read primer on how to make fewer writing mistakes in the first place and catch the ones you do. It includes tips on how to use Word to catch mistakes and common style problems. It even has some helpful advice on better understanding the gatekeepers!

With common sense advice this book is a must read for both beginning and seasoned writers.

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