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

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A Lot To Think About

A Lot To Think About

Finally, I have finished the latest read through of Prophecy(Working title). Now that the story is fresh in my mind, I’m going back to add the little details I know I left out. Armed with notes from myself and from some revisers I’m ready to beef up the story.  What a fun thing to be able to do. I spent countless hours slimming up BiaAtlas because that story is a long one, that it’s a totally different experience to have room to embellish.

I re-highlighted my filter words as I explained in Well colour me silly, I was pleased to find most of them are now at an acceptable level thanks to my last revision.

I revise in a step by step process. It’s probably not efficient but it works for me. I focus on one task at a time so I don’t get horribly distracted or miss things I shouldn’t miss. There is a lot to think about when revising and editing. Sometimes it can feel or become overwhelming. Which is why I break it down.

The things I focus on individually are:

  • Filter Words
  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Chapter Structure
  • The little details

I will highlight the filter words for all my read-throughs to see if I can find a better way to structure the sentence without them. Sometimes I can and sometimes I can’t.

Then there are the broader things I do and try to keep in mind on every read through

  • Story flow
  • Foreshadows
    • Major in story foreshadows
    • Major or minor sequel foreshadows 
    • Minor character or side story foreshadows
  • Continuity
    • Clothing
    • Appearance
    • Object continuity as mentioned in my post Where did it go?
    • Character quirks
    • Timeline 
    • Seasonally appropriate references as mentioned in Tulips in July
  • Chapter length and structure (I will get into this in more detail another time.
  • Conversation flow
    • Is it believable?
    • Does it flow?
    • Is it engaging or fluff?
    • Can it be narrative instead of dialogue?
  • Is everyone present? As in did anyone disappear? Like I talked about in Who are you again? 

There is a lot to think about and I’m sure I’ve missed a point or two. Regardless I have a process and it works for me.

My advice about all the things to think about while revising
Find a method that works for you and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to try new methods, but don’t ever let anyone dubious or otherwise tell you that your method is wrong. 

-Sheryl

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

Dubious

The Little Details

As I make my way through my second edit between living my life, I’ve noticed something is missing.

The little details.

I’m missing the little details. I have people dressed but in what? I have people entering a room but it’s empty. I have people in a car that was never described and dancing to music that isn’t acknowledged.

This is a bad thing, but it’s expected. When I write my original draft, I tend to skip the little details in favor of writing the story. My fingers fly across the keyboard and because they can’t keep up with what I want to say, the little details are left out. This isn’t always the case but it does happen. There will be naysayers out there that say “if you can’t write it properly the first time you’re not a good writer.”  Boo to them. Naysayers will do anything to bring me down and I don’t care what they say.

This book is so much fun and it’s very fast-paced. It happens in under two weeks. Because of the pace and excitement level, I did skip a lot of little details.

I don’t see this as a problem, now I have the opportunity to go back and fix what’s missing with a calm mind.

For example:

Original:

I rushed to get dressed and ran down the stairs to the busy street. I skipped my morning coffee. I would get one from the franchise near the office.

I hurriedly walked the six blocks north and dodged people too busy to care that they were in my way.

This needs some work. Now you don’t know the character or why she’s rushing, that’s not important for this example. Because word count is of little concern this time around, I can embellish without worry.

Corrected:

There was no thought to the grey pencil skirt I slipped over my hips nor the powder blue blouse I fumbled to button. I tore a pair of stockings in my haste and cursed until I had my blue flats on my feet.

After nearly tripping down my apartment stairs out to the busy street, I elected to skip my usual morning coffee from the little shop across the street. I needed to get to the office six blocks north. The sunny morning was an exercise in dodging people too busy to care that they were in my way.

Now she’s wearing specific clothes because this story is fast paced I try to keep track of what each character is wearing by having a day summary for each day in the story.

When putting in details like skipping the coffee, it’s an opportunity to set the mood for later or a moment when she might go to get one elsewhere. When editing it is easy to put in small details that can have a big impact. They are foreshadow’s on a small scale.

Finding the missed details can be a challenge, I’ll often have others read my story and let me know when they can’t imagine what a character’s wearing or doing or where they are exactly.

My advice about little details.
Fit them in without listing them off, have the character interact with the object or space you’re describing. Whether you put them in from the start or later when you edit, don’t forget to mention what kind of coffee someone is sipping.

-Sheryl

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

Other posts about details

Details, details, details

She’s a person not a cake

Dancing

One hundred

Statistics are fun. This is my one hundredth post written. It may have gotten out of order a wee bit by a couple days. Oops.  Oh well. My point is I made it 100 days posting blogs that have for the most part been received with complements and favorable comments.

I don’t get the little notifications from WordPress, the congratulations on 1000 likes or whatnot, but that’s not important, I get them and I’m thankful.

To everyone that takes the time to read, comment, like and re-blog I want to say thank you. You all make this part of my journey that much more exciting, fun, interesting and educational.

Here are some fun facts;

People liking my blog posts have represented 74 Countries

I have received 2443 Likes thus far

My posts have 822 Comments (I think this includes my responses)
The first five people to ever comment: (Those in pink are still actively posting since August and are awesome by the way)
Michael 
Kristina
Yvonne
Fernanda
April
TouchUpdate

2025 Visitors have dropped buy for a visit.

My blog has had 5620 views since it started.

Finally yet importantly, I have 278 Glorious and fantastic followers so far.
My first six followers ever are:(again in pink are still actively blogging as of August)
DirtySciFiBudda
Yvonne
Mimi
Fernanda
Leslie
quintessentialeditor

I don’t mention this to brag, but in appreciation. I had no idea where this would go when I started and I still don’t. (Check them out and see if you don’t know them.)

I try to keep my posts informative, fun and at least interesting. They are based on my journey since I sat down and wrote a book with no idea how to do so. I have learned so much and I love that I find out new things nearly daily to better my skills. I am not an expert, but I do like to give my opinion and share what I’ve learned. I am open to suggestions (within reason) and love to hear from my readers and followers.

My book BiaAtlas is still in the process of being published. It is still a journey and I will continue to share the process as things arise.

Occasionally I fall short on time and will post a chapter of a book I’ve started. It is based off the characters I created solely for the purpose of blog post examples. Sasha, Cal and the people that antagonize them. I have a lot of fun with them and they are bludgeoned with situation after situation and often… well that’s because they are example fodder. 

I hope everyone has enjoyed and will continue to enjoy my two cents spelling, grammar, technical errors and all. 😉

So thank you again bloggers and readers, liker’s and commenters, I honestly appreciate all your support.

My advice today.
Don’t give up on your dreams, if it gets murky and you need a break, keep your dreams nearby you never know when inspiration will strike up your desire to start chasing them again.

-Sheryl

My first, second and third post ever.

One letter, one word, and one sentence.
The “word count” down.
Read, revise and repeat. The shampoo process of editing.

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

 

Bludgeon