As the Turkey is Basting…

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Since this time of the year is more about family and fun, here is something to give you writers a few giggles!

Submitted By:  Peggy Blann Phifer

Was’s and commas and adverbs . . . Oh, my!

Doing my final edits on my debut novel, I’ve become quite conscious of grammar usage, the overuse of adverbs, the all-too-frequent use of “was” and a dozen other things most of us do that we really know NOT to do. I even had some POV (point of view) problems. Oh, and the proper insertion of commas (some included where they didn’t belong, and others omitted.)

Now that the manuscript is in the hands of the publisher, I thought I’d share a little something that ties right in with this subject. I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did when I found it.

Here we go: Rules for Editing

1.  Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.

2.  Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3.  And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.

4.  It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

5.  Avoid clichés like the plague.  (They’re old hat)

6.  Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.

7.  Be more or less specific.

8.  Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.

9.  Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.

10.  No sentence fragments.

11.  Contractions aren’t necessary and shouldn’t be used.

12.  Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

13.  Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.

14.  One should NEVER generalize.

15.  Comparisons are as bad as clichés.

16.  Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

17.  One-word sentences?  Eliminate.

18.  Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

19.  The passive voice is to be ignored.

20.  Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary.  Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.

21.  Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.

22.  Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.

23.  Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth-shaking ideas.

24.  Eliminate quotations.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”

25.  If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.

26.  Puns are for children, not groan readers.

27.  Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

28.  Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

29.  Who needs rhetorical questions?

30.  Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

And the last one…

31. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

Peggy Blann Phifer is the editor of Whispers in Purple and features authors books on her Friday feature, Book Bites.  Peggy’s first book will come out in 2012.

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  1. I love these, Peg! Thanks for the laugh.

  2. The list makes me smile every time I come across it.

  3. Awww, but I love parenthesis. 😉

  4. Great list!

  5. Made me smile this dreary morn’. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Wow! I applaud you all for eschewing loquaciousness! Good job LOL


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