Incorrect Order Words – Sentence Structure #2

I continue my quest for editing and revising, Prophecy Ink, my newest novel. I sit with a lovely cup of tea or frothy cocoa and scrutinize my work. Did I really make that mistake? I could feel inept or embarrassed, but there’s no point. I’m not the first person to make simple mistakes or complicated ones, and I won’t be the last. Which is why I’m sharing my journey so you can rest assured that it’s all okay.

Incorrect Order Word
– Sentence structure

On my last post, I showed how messy my Grammar is by Grammarly’s standards. I’m not afraid to admit to mistakes. If I didn’t have any then I’d have less to blog about. I learn a lot as I go and sometimes it’s gentle “Duh” reminders of something I should know, did know, and maybe forgot… temporarily. To recap, I had 19 sentence structure errors. Not bad, not bad at all.
Sentence Structure: 19
Here are some common sentence structure problems found in my draft of Prophecy Ink. In pink is today’s subject, in purple crossed out has already been covered. Missed it? No problem just click on the purple crossed out word and it will take you to the post.

Incorrect word order
Missing Verb √ 
Squinting Modifier
Incorrect Adverb Placement
Missing _____ in emphatic sentence

Continuing with Incorrect word order. I do this all the time. I find that a big reason for this is simply local jargon, dialect or phrases. Now if found in dialogue, I think carefully, do I want it to be bad since people talk that way? Sometimes. Too much can be irritating to a reader. Outside dialogue, there is no excuse and they all need to be fixed. Here are some examples and what the Grammarly program shows me.

Grammerly 4

I smiled as the funeral director came to tell me the room was set for my guests and me.

I do this a lot. Meh. It’s easy to fix. I can rewrite the sentence or with Grammarly, I click the offered green correction and it fixes it for me with its suggestion. Easy peasy.

Grammerly 5.jpg

There was the chance that he would run but why he would?

This example is one that doesn’t work. (Yes there are other issues with the sentence including the extra word ‘the’ that I took out and replaced it with ‘that’. I’ll leave the rest for other examples.) The reason for this ‘weird fix’ is because I’ve put a rhetorical question in the narrative. It’s a good idea to avoid this as much as possible. To fix it I would rewrite the sentence completely or remove the rhetorical part of it.

The Grammarly suggestion was silly and wouldn’t make sense. Instead, I cleaned up the messy sentence with a simple rewrite.
There was the unlikely chance that he would run.

Incorrect word order is easy to do, it’s also easy to spot and super easy to fix. Sometimes It’s me typing too fast or my fingers not keeping up with my brain. Sometimes it’s as simple as me making a mistake. Stressing about it won’t help. It does need to be fixed and it will be.

My advice about Incorrect Word Order:

Happens it does, fix it you will easily. Haha, I sound like Yoda. Pay attention to the suggested fix it may point out a bigger problem. As always every mistake is a chance to correct it and a bigger opportunity to make it even better. 

-Sheryl

Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved

Froth

Messy, Messy, Messy – Sentence Structure #1 (Missing Verbs)

MessyMessy, Messy, Messy Sentence Structure

Let me start with a housekeeping note: No I’m not talking about washing floors or windows. I’m going to be trying out some new things with my blog and posts. Bear with me as I try out some new looks etc. I’ve been looking around on some blogs, and I think mine could be put together better. I may be wiping this one and starting over. Not sure about that yet. I might need to remove and repost my old blogs. If I do that I’ll be improving them.

Now onto today’s post.

No matter how perfect I think, my writing is, it’s still messy. I have all kinds of errors, some obvious and some not. To work this out, I wade through the swamp of editing and revision. Prophecy Ink is coming along well. I thought I would share some of the mess and what I did to fix it.

At this point, I had the book revised twice.

I talked about this in my last post. I’m using Grammarly to edit and below are some stats on what I have to work on.

Grammerly 1Contextual Spelling: 349
Grammer: 212
Punctuation: 999+ (Um that’s embarrassing)
Sentence Structure: 19
Style: 127
Vocabulary Enhancement: 267

Okay so I promised I’d be honest from the start, and this is… embarrassing. Or is it?  No, I suppose it’s not really since I know I’m not perfect and I’m not a professional writer(Yet).

When Grammarly underlines all of these issues, the page gets messy. It seems a daunting task to cover all of these issues and fix them. It is, but it’s not at the same time. This is my book, my work of art and my passion. So perfecting it is part of the process. It’s like raising a kid, it’s not always pretty, it can get hectic, tedious, and even boring at times but it’s also exciting, amazing, rewarding and even fun.

When I find a sentence that is just crap, focus on it and repair it to perfection it’s rewarding.

For today I’ll look at Sentence structure since it’s the least abundant.

The first example is a short paragraph. It has 4 issues.
Sentence structure: missing Verb
Vocabulary Enhancement: Overused word Bad
Punctuation:  , and
Vocabulary Enhancement: Overused word wide

structure 1

Normally I do my edit with Grammarly with all features turned on. For this example, I’ll show what the Sentence structure feature helped me with.

To address the issue of the missing verb, I added “It’s a” to the sentence. Or

Grammerly 3
I took the sentence out completely and melded it with the first sentence. Editing isn’t about only fixing the immediate issue, it’s an opportunity to write a better sentence. I read the sentence before and the one with the problem and the one after. After two changes I came up with “I nodded and rubbed the small scrape on my forehead.” I covered all the information I wanted to convey, with fewer words and ended up with a sentence that is structured better.

Here are some common sentence structure problems found.
Incorrect word order
Missing Verb
Squinting Modifier
Incorrect Adverb Placement
Missing _____ in emphatic sentence
I will cover these corrections in future posts. And yes I will be using real examples from my new book.

My advice about Missing Verbs:

A great opportunity to fix the entire sentence not just plop in the missing verb. Sure sometimes all you need to do is add the verb and that’s okay too. 

-Sheryl

I couldn’t think of how to fit today’s prompt in other than to say I’ve been listening to classical and string quartet music while editing lately along with a bunch of other genres. Music helps keep my mind from wandering off task. 

Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved

Quartet