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Showing posts from July, 2012

Keeping Continuity

Continuity errors might seem one of the least important aspects of a writer’s list of things to watch out for, but they are easy to make and sometimes difficult to spot and yet remain an important part of the writing method.

Writing a novel isn’t an instant process. It takes months (years even), and during that time it is feasible and sometimes unavoidable that writers will inadvertently create continuity errors, simply because it’s hard to remember what happened on page 12 when you’re at page 200 of the story and you’re beavering away to get it completed.

Just as in movies, the mistakes can sometimes be glaring or sometimes quite subtle, but they are errors nonetheless.

Common Errors:-

Time – Time of year, time of key scenes etc.
Place – Setting, place names etc.
Characterisation – Clothes, personal objects, birthdays, names, traits etc.
Plotting – Plot flaws and gaping inconsistencies.
Objects

Time continuity errors happen because writers forget timeframes. A writer might have a story set …

Polishing Your Prose - Part 2

With the usual faults of clichés, grammar, POV and sentence structure etc all corrected through judicious editing - the prose polishing process should then take on a deeper narrative cleanse to tidy the things that are not so obvious to writers, the things that we don’t always look out for.

This means looking a little deeper to see what else can be improved prior to sending your pride and joy to agents and publishers. Ambiguity, for instance, is something writers tend to miss. Ambiguity occurs due to poor sentence structures, often inadvertently giving sentences double meanings and thus confusing the reader (and on occasion, making them chuckle).What you intended for the reader isn’t always what is understood by them, so make sure every sentence reads correctly and doesn’t give a double meaning.

Tenses still remain the one thing that confuses so many writers, and especially so when working in first person point of view because it’s easy to lose focus and slip from present to past tense.I…

Polishing Your Prose - Part 1

Every writer should understand the importance of adding finishing touches prior to a submission to an agent or editor.While absolute perfection is unattainable, writers should tidy and polish their MSS/short story to the best it can be, and this is for several reasons.

One is to present to your would-be agent or publisher a professional writer, someone who knows what they’re doing. Your aim is to make an impression – the right impression.Another reason is show the reader a flawless, enjoyable piece of writing. Paying attention to your prose – an integral part of the editing process - is vital because this is where your voice, your style, your technique and your narrative is scrutinised by your agent, publisher or readers and the very structure of your prose determines whether it reads smoothly, makes sense, is enjoyable, or whether it is jarring, clunky or doesn’t read right at all.

The downfall of some writers is that they don’t pay enough attention to editing and rewriting, and the res…