Manuscript Errors

my earliest attempt at a story

Many of my you, my blog readers, are also writers. So, you
may be interested to hear what I’ve learned through having my manuscript
scrutinised by a professional editor. I invite you to have a good laugh. You
can say: ‘What! You didn’t know that?’ Fair enough. I’ve enjoyed
writing for as long as I can remember. I still have some of my first attempts
at stories, written in tall blue school jotters, with a healthy serving of good
Yorkshire slang. As my school years progressed, I learned that I was okay at
spelling, punctuation and grammar. Hahaha! Or so I thought. Well, there’s no
doubt, I’m still learning. And may it continue.

Before I go on, a word of immense gratitude to my beta
readers. Thank you, all. But you know what’s coming, don’t you? Even the most
eagle-eyed amongst you didn’t spot the misspelling of draught. (Either that, or
you were too polite to mention it.) Apparently, my poor heroine felt a cold
playing piece (you know, those flat white – or black – discs used on a
chequerboard) cut through her cotton pyjamas!

I can hear you sniggering already!

When it comes to adjective order, check this one out! I’m
sure most of you know how to arrange your adjectives: opinion, size, shape,
age, colour, origin, material, purpose. For example, a ubiquitous round black
wooden drafts piece! There you go. Perfect. But, when I wrote dark little
lace-up boots, it sounded okay to me, particularly as it was my heroine’s
narration, but I should have written it the other way round: ‘little dark
lace-up boots’.

We knew that’, I can hear you all shouting, now. And
you’re right, it does sound better, doesn’t it?

(Why don’t you have a go? Rearrange: Welsh intricate
greenish dresser tarnished bronze ancient mysterious long key. Beware, there is
a slight trick in this one.)

Okay, back to my mistakes. Here’s one more, so you can really
guffaw!

I’m hiding my face now. . .
Ididn’tknowhowtoformatellipsescorrectly. That’s it. It’s out. (I’ve already
told you: I’m still learning.)

Did you know? Come on, honestly, did you, really?

So, it goes like this:

no space, dot, space, dot, space, dot, space. So there!

Writing is a complex craft. This summer, I enjoyed reading a
great little book called First You Write a Sentence by Joe Moran, and I’d
recommend it to writers and non-writers alike. There’s a lot to learn and
perhaps never enough time to learn it all. How wonderful it is that we have
talented teachers, friends and editors who help us get it right so that we can
focus on telling the story! And, on that note, an enormous thank you to my copy
editor at Matador.

I hope you’re continuing to enjoy my blog. If you have any
comments or questions, please get in touch.

Come back soon for: approving the text style for Oranges
and Lemons.

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