Advice, Editing, Editor, Tips, Writing

Writing mistakes?

editormarksI read an informative article yesterday by Pat Holt, an editorial consultant and former editor, describing 10 common writing problems and how to fix them.

Now, my Ms. Perfect insists that I go back through my current work to check for these problems. But what of the fact that most of the mistake examples Mr. Holt gave were from published works?

Are these “mistakes” simply Mr. Holt’s preferences? Are contemporary writers ignorant, undisciplined, or rebellious? Are editors too overworked, careless, or eager?

Or were these authors writing for the reader, who will either ignore or forgive some imperfections … as long as the story is strong enough to grab their hearts and minds?

Ah, to find the perfect balance between writing and storytelling.

15 thoughts on “Writing mistakes?”

  1. Yes. Every writer hates rules. But we must make our work also.

    I think nobody should think about this rules before the four or five revision of the text (Novel, short story, etc.)

    But before send it to any publishers or editors, we must make a second or third overview of the work. We can do it alone or with the help of a good linguiste.

    The publishers simply don’t want to have to work to much on a script that have past the first step for publishing: Good Story, meet the mission of the éditor and so on and so…

    We must offer a professionnal novel to them. I think she described her work as a pro. Why we don’t take it seriously and try to be best and write like a pro…

    Revision are not easy, but sincerely I think It could make a big difference.

    After what, we could work with the publisher to make the text even better…

    Thank for this post.


    1. Mireille, I do want to present to an agent the best manuscript I possibly can. That’s why I read so many writing and grammar books. But I also realize there can be a fine difference between writing a fabulous story and writing a perfect “by the rules” story. I don’t want to be so focused on the rules that I deaden the story.

      And I do wish I could “forget” the rules until I get to the fourth or fifth revision. No matter how hard I try, I cannot put them out of my mind as I write.


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