The Comma: “When in Doubt, Leave it Out” (Don’t We Wish!)

Marge Hulburt, author, editor, writing, coaching, author servicesWhen it comes to punctuation, the most aggravating mark in the English language has got to be the comma. It is so misused, I would say at least 80% of my “punctuation time” with the average manuscript is spent editing commas. Authors and editors alike would be ecstatic if only we really could just leave them all out….

This situation does bring with it a hidden gift for you as an author – just by paying attention to a few simple rules, you can easily and significantly improve the professional quality of your own work. Here’s how:   Continue reading

Self-Editing Tips & Tricks (revisited)

Statue of a man thinkingThis is a repost of a popular article from about two years ago. It’s wisdom and guidance are still worthy today. Enjoy!

An editor can be an invaluable resource for adding clarity, impact, and saleability to our written work, but many of us don’t always have an editor at our disposal. When we do choose to hire one, we want our work to be as strong as possible going into the editing process.

Here are some things you can do yourself to add impact to your own writing:

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Self-Editing Tips & Tricks

Statue of a man thinkingDon’t have an editor handy? Here are some things YOU can do to add impact to your own writing.

1) Review your goal. Do you know why are you writing this piece? Can you state it succinctly in one short sentence?

2) Look at your organization. Does your piece take the reader logically, step-by-step, from where they are to where you want them to be?

3) Check the focus. Does every paragraph, every sentence, every word move the reader toward your goal?

4) Make sure you have a container. Does your opening paragraph set an expectation for Continue reading