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MY SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF WRITING Options · View
DirtyMartini
Posted: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 3:00:27 PM

Rank: Rest in Peace

Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 3,402
Location: Earth, for now..., United States
AutumnWriter wrote:


It is not impossible to edit one's own work, but it is difficult. Your brain tells you what you want it to and a lot of things can get skipped.



Yes, I think most people have that problem...I know I certainly do, my brain sort of automatically skips over my own errors no matter how many times I read something...

A lot of writers do not have the option of having someone read and edit their work, they just don't know anyone willing, for whatever reasons...most of the time when someone submits something here, the moderators are the first people to actually read it...

I myself make it a point to alert an author to any errors I notice...if it is only a few, I will make the corrections and send them a list so they can correct them on their original copy...I generally limit myself to pointing out spelling and obvious grammar errors, I'll rarely venture into the realm of style or content, unless I feel it's something somewhat glaringly wrong...

Btw, this whole grammar thing goes back a long ways...people have been making writing mistakes for quite some time I hear...happy8




I once knew a drinker who had a moderating problem...

AutumnWriter
Posted: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 5:35:48 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 6/3/2011
Posts: 18
Location: Rochester, United States
Some sites have a program by which people volunteer to perform the editing at no charge. The editors do it as a hobby, like we write stories as a hobby. They like to be part of the creative process but don't believe they have the creativity (or whatever) to create their own work. But, by doing the editing they can be part of it.

I have an editor who prefers to remain anonymous. He does the grammar, spelling and punctuation and I also request his input on areas in which I am unsure, such as a story I wrote not long ago in third person-present tense. He also lets me know when something is unclear or doesn't come across well, such as the connotation of a word or phrase. sometimes I take his advice, other times I keep my original text, many times I scrap it and address it a different way.

If this site grows it could develop a similar program. At this time it appears that nearly all the members are also authors. That is why I don't edit very often. It would be difficult to delve into other author's concepts and then try to develop my own without the two meshing. I would never plagiarize another author's work, but it is impossible when an idea sticks in your head to identify exactly where it came from.

I have done some editing for beginning authors and it was good at times and at others the "editees" took corrections personally. Authors should realize that the talent to create and develop literary ideas does not always go hand-in-hand with the ability to express them within the confines of grammatical rules. Yet, if one desires to create a good piece of work, that linking up is necessary.
Sherzahd
Posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 1:19:38 PM

Rank: Administration
Moderator

Joined: 2/2/2011
Posts: 2,257
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Love it, Mr. Martini....

“Many people hear voices when no-one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.”
PrivateRickmers
Posted: Friday, December 9, 2011 5:15:47 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 19
Location: United States
Louise wrote:


My grandfather used to be a typewriter salesman. He sold and repaired them for most of his life. Everytime I see one I'm taken back to his workshop. I can almost smell the turpentine he used to clean them. And the 'bing' noise they made when they got to the end and had to be reset to the right. He always used to type the ' the quick brown fox...' phrase to use all the letters in the typewriter.


A teenager might look at a typewriter and wonder,"Where's the enter key?"
PrivateRickmers
Posted: Friday, December 9, 2011 5:20:10 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 19
Location: United States
If you have a choice between using a large word and a small word, use the small word. If you have a choice between using a large word and several small words use the large word if it has fewer syllables than all of the small words.

Shorten the sentences whenever possible by dividing them. When you use "and" you can often begin a new sentence. When you use "but" you can often begin a new sentence beginning with, "Nevertheless."
Guest
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2012 3:30:15 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 7/1/2010
Posts: 25,634
This is a wonderful thread. It is somewhat depressing to me though because it puts a nice pinhole in my ego and makes me realize just how technically poor a writer I really am.

Maybe I should have just tried jigsaw puzzles...
Sherzahd
Posted: Saturday, February 25, 2012 3:56:07 AM

Rank: Administration
Moderator

Joined: 2/2/2011
Posts: 2,257
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Milik_the_Red wrote:
This is a wonderful thread. It is somewhat depressing to me though because it puts a nice pinhole in my ego and makes me realize just how technically poor a writer I really am.

Maybe I should have just tried jigsaw puzzles...


I really love jigsaw puzzles, but sadly I am rubbish at them. Maybe I should've tried knitting...

“Many people hear voices when no-one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.”
Rumple_deWriter
Posted: Friday, March 2, 2012 3:47:37 PM

Rank: Story Moderator
Moderator

Joined: 8/24/2011
Posts: 500
Location: lost in the ozone west of Apache Junction
Sherzah,

It has just occured to me that a candidate for your list might be:

Don't write in the nude if there's a cat about who likes to jump, without warning, into your lap.

Just a thought.

glasses8

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwords.[/ - ROBERT HEINLEIN

Schemers Scheme -- young women talking about young men

OF WAR, AND PEACE, AND MARY BETH: my contest winner, honest

For Whom the Good Tolls an 'RR' and it's short, no kidding

scooter
Posted: Saturday, March 31, 2012 9:08:16 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 7/1/2011
Posts: 155
Location: Lake Erie
I'm still trying to get all these apparent new rules of writing strait.

Is it OK to write in the nude if your cats been declawed Rump_deWriter?

I should of taken up golf.....but I'm not even sure how to spell golfs most famous term;
Four or fore or for or 4d'oh!
DirtyMartini
Posted: Sunday, April 1, 2012 8:48:26 PM

Rank: Rest in Peace

Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 3,402
Location: Earth, for now..., United States
Rumple_deWriter wrote:


Don't write in the nude if there's a cat about who likes to jump, without warning, into your lap.



Ah yeah...that one rates right up there with my cooking tip about not frying anything in the nude...

Sorry I can't help you with that spelling problem there Scooter...btw, did you realize you just listed four ways to spell fore? Or, is it 4 ways to spell four?

Hmmm...never mind...dontknow

I once knew a drinker who had a moderating problem...

scooter
Posted: Thursday, April 5, 2012 4:56:01 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 7/1/2011
Posts: 155
Location: Lake Erie
Speaking of 4,

thats an interesting concept Al.

We were thinking about golfs most famous term, 4

an I spelled it for ways icon_smile
DirtyMartini
Posted: Thursday, April 5, 2012 6:13:59 PM

Rank: Rest in Peace

Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 3,402
Location: Earth, for now..., United States
Yeah..."Fore score and seven deadly sins ago"...or something like that, eh Scooter?

Btw, just want to point out that I think Yas did a fine job of pointing out things that can be annoying in people's writing, but there is certainly nothing "deadly" in anything here...

The original article posted referred to publishing and a writer's career...

7 Deadly Sins, According to Writer's Digest
http://www.storiesspace.com/forum/yaf_postst276_7-Deadly-Sins-According-to-Writer39s-Digest.aspx

I don't think anyone has ever had a story rejected by a publisher because of punctuation errors, and it's important that people realize the difference...there is something in the publishing industry called an Editor who does stuff like throw in the commas...

One of these days I'll say more on the subject...just sayin'

I once knew a drinker who had a moderating problem...

Sherzahd
Posted: Friday, April 6, 2012 12:04:00 AM

Rank: Administration
Moderator

Joined: 2/2/2011
Posts: 2,257
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
These were the 7 sins that annoy me most, but I've opened the topic up to any more suggestions. Feel free to add more to it, Martini.

“Many people hear voices when no-one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.”
DirtyMartini
Posted: Friday, April 6, 2012 12:21:55 AM

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Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 3,402
Location: Earth, for now..., United States
Sherzahd wrote:
These were the 7 sins that annoy me most, but I've opened the topic up to any more suggestions. Feel free to add more to it, Martini.


Nah, you did a fine job there...I just felt the need to point out that there is nothing really "deadly" in anything here...

But yeah, there are a lot of things that can be annoying...I'm just happy when people use spell-check before submitting a story here...happy8

I once knew a drinker who had a moderating problem...

Rumple_deWriter
Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 3:57:05 PM

Rank: Story Moderator
Moderator

Joined: 8/24/2011
Posts: 500
Location: lost in the ozone west of Apache Junction
SPELL CHECKER? What a concept. When will it be available. ;)

But seriously, folks. As I've harped before, IMHO there's only one, so-called, deadly, unbreakable rule for successful commercial fiction:

Don't bore the reader.

glasses8

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwords.[/ - ROBERT HEINLEIN

Schemers Scheme -- young women talking about young men

OF WAR, AND PEACE, AND MARY BETH: my contest winner, honest

For Whom the Good Tolls an 'RR' and it's short, no kidding

Sherzahd
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 1:56:41 AM

Rank: Administration
Moderator

Joined: 2/2/2011
Posts: 2,257
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Rumple_deWriter wrote:
SPELL CHECKER? What a concept. When will it be available. ;)

But seriously, folks. As I've harped before, IMHO there's only one, so-called, deadly, unbreakable rule for successful commercial fiction:

Don't bore the reader.

glasses8


Excellent pointer there, I think that is the most important rule. happy8

“Many people hear voices when no-one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.”
ladysharon
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 1:21:44 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 412
Location: Chicago
Lack of subject-verb-object agreement is one of my pet peeves.
GriffinGarcon
Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 8:35:17 PM

Rank: Rookie Scribe

Joined: 6/20/2013
Posts: 1
Location: Lakewood, United States
Dear Yasmin!

I read all 7 sins, and I confess to at least half of them. As for adding new ones, see, we have a saying "your own poop does not stink", meaning that the Pride will hide your wrongs from you, and you will only be able to see OTHER people's sins clearly. So, my pride is firmly on guard of all my wrongdoings. But i know i'm far from perfect.

Anyway, what i want to say is i can clearly see that you are so passionate about teaching! Your energeti personality transpires through the lines of this article (as i combine all 7 posts in my head). One precious thing is you really want to share what you know, and you do it in the most exceptional way. Thank you for taking this profound an brilliant approach to the stuff that happens to all of us writers!

DirtyMartini
Posted: Thursday, January 9, 2014 6:29:41 AM

Rank: Rest in Peace

Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 3,402
Location: Earth, for now..., United States
Figured I'd bump this thread with the addition of a very important chart...happy8



I once knew a drinker who had a moderating problem...

Sherzahd
Posted: Thursday, January 9, 2014 9:04:57 AM

Rank: Administration
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Joined: 2/2/2011
Posts: 2,257
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
I love it... 'very' is such a very weak word. Thanx Alan, I will be making use of this. happy8

“Many people hear voices when no-one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.”
Dreamcatcher
Posted: Thursday, January 9, 2014 9:38:17 AM

Rank: Forum Facilitator

Joined: 3/15/2011
Posts: 3,074
Location: Only my friends know...
I'm jubilant that you posted this.. it is a superb and brilliant effort at effort at helping us feeble and conservative authors.. now I'm ravenous..

DirtyMartini
Posted: Friday, January 10, 2014 11:15:07 PM

Rank: Rest in Peace

Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 3,402
Location: Earth, for now..., United States
Dreamcatcher wrote:
I'm jubilant that you posted this.. it is a superb and brilliant effort at effort at helping us feeble and conservative authors.. now I'm ravenous..


Lol...thanks Larry, your your ravenous jubilation is practically contagious...I just hope there's a cure...

Anyway, someone else here pointed out that it's a bit inspirational...and I tend to agree...it's a nice little chart to keep handy when you're trying to conjur up words that go outside the norm...or something like that...I think you get the idea...


I once knew a drinker who had a moderating problem...

Rebellious_Soul
Posted: Saturday, January 11, 2014 7:59:35 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 11/27/2012
Posts: 4,839
Location: In the Void, United States
I always made it a habit to never use very, really, and totally in my writing at all. Maybe in dialogue if that is the way the character talks, but not for description.

Because I can,
because I want to,
And because who are you to tell me otherwise?
ladysharon
Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 6:25:20 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 412
Location: Chicago
DirtyMartini wrote:
Figured I'd bump this thread with the addition of a very important chart...happy8



I have this list as well and emailed it to my journalism professor. She responded positively to it and asked me to compile a list of writing sites I use to help in writing and self-editing.
DirtyMartini
Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 3:59:13 PM

Rank: Rest in Peace

Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 3,402
Location: Earth, for now..., United States
ladysharon wrote:

I have this list as well and emailed it to my journalism professor. She responded positively to it and asked me to compile a list of writing sites I use to help in writing and self-editing.


Yeah, if she gives you an "A" don't forget to mention where you found the list...if she gives you a "D" or something, just blame it on Larry...he won't mind...and don't tell him I said that btw...

And yeah, don't forget to include this fine site on your list...this actually is a good site, and I'm not just saying that because I sort of work here...it really does have a lot of features, and useful information...and it's not overwhelmingly large that you're stuff will get lost among the thousands of other stories and posts...and it is fairly organized here in the forum...

Yeah, this really is a nice site...if I say so myself...


I once knew a drinker who had a moderating problem...

Circle_Something
Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 8:20:10 PM

Rank: Forum Facilitator

Joined: 8/11/2012
Posts: 1,965
Location: Glasgow-ish
Sherzahd wrote:
[size=6]Third Deadly Sin – Verbosity


Verbosity can be quite good, but only when it's used skilfully, like when Edgar Allan Poe or H.P. Lovecraft does, otherwise, I totally agree with you.

Two of my favourites to pull folk up for:

Improper use and misplacement of ellipsis. This drives me bammy and I always tell people "one dot is the end of a sentence, two is underkill, three is just the right amount of kill and four or more is overkill, remember this and I won't have to kill you." It seems to help it get hewn into their minds. I also hate it when people use it in a list, instead of commas or semicolons (which is a punctuation mark that I really need to learn how to use properly.)

And the use of "ect" to mean "etc". Ec Tetera? Nope! Et Cetera? Yes! That's it. (Sometimes spelled Etcetera, both are acceptable). And on the subject of acronyms, mixing up I.E. and E.G. is another peeve of mine. I.E. means Id Est in Latin, which means "that is", whereas E.G. means Exempli Gratia, also in Latin and means "for example". The differences are subtle, I'll grant you, but the misuse is annoying.

Oh, and sorry for being so verbose evil4



Ghosts, flamingos, guitars and vodka. Don't forget Kitty and Kitten. Eclectic subjects, eccentric stories:

Humorous guide & Recommended Read =^.^= How To Make a Cup of Tea
A flash fiction series :) A Random Moment in Time
A love poem <3 Kitty & Kitten
Editors' Pick! :D I Am The Deep, Dark Woods
And another EP!: The Fragility of Age
=^.^= <3 ^.^

Dreamcatcher
Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 10:50:45 AM

Rank: Forum Facilitator

Joined: 3/15/2011
Posts: 3,074
Location: Only my friends know...
Circle_Something wrote:
Sherzahd wrote:
[size=6]Third Deadly Sin – Verbosity


Verbosity can be quite good, but only when it's used skilfully, like when Edgar Allan Poe or H.P. Lovecraft does, otherwise, I totally agree with you.

Two of my favourites to pull folk up for:

Improper use and misplacement of ellipsis. This drives me bammy and I always tell people "one dot is the end of a sentence, two is underkill, three is just the right amount of kill and four or more is overkill, remember this and I won't have to kill you." It seems to help it get hewn into their minds. I also hate it when people use it in a list, instead of commas or semicolons (which is a punctuation mark that I really need to learn how to use properly.)

And the use of "ect" to mean "etc". Ec Tetera? Nope! Et Cetera? Yes! That's it. (Sometimes spelled Etcetera, both are acceptable). And on the subject of acronyms, mixing up I.E. and E.G. is another peeve of mine. I.E. means Id Est in Latin, which means "that is", whereas E.G. means Exempli Gratia, also in Latin and means "for example". The differences are subtle, I'll grant you, but the misuse is annoying.

Oh, and sorry for being so verbose evil4



So let me ax a kwestshun.. ie.. would not be more than two dots be verbose? eg...... I hate when that happens.

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