authors, Editing, helpful hints, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing, writing

Ten mistakes a reader never misses: Slippery words (Part 2)

In an earlier post, I discussed how easy it is for writers to make mistakes readers will never miss and how that can negatively impact a potential reader’s view of the book. So here are some common errors you can look for in your manuscript. I still highly recommend you invest in professional editing, but the following list will help you clean up your work and make it even better.

  1. Slippery words

Maybe you’ve feverishly typed out your book till the early-morning hours and are ready to publish now, or maybe you’re on your thirtieth draft and know most every sentence by heart. Th e Catch-22 of proofreading your own material is that you can’t be sure you’ve done it well no matter how much time you spend doing it. You can go over it again and again, but the more time you spend revising your book, the better you know your own words. Your eyes see what you’ve written in your head, not what’s on the page. You simply can’t self-edit. No one can. You need a second pair of experienced eyes. This is especially true when it comes to slippery words.

Keep in mind there are many more slippery words than these common ones:

your, you’re

there, their, they’re

where, were, we’re

too, two, to

its, it’s

Below are two examples of typical errors.

Your the author of a book that well help you polish

Your the author of a book that well help you polish.

You’re the author of a book that we’ll help you polish.

We two wanted to write are novel in there months.

We two wanted to write our novel in three months.

Easy mistakes to make. Hard to convince a reader this is a good book if they see those types of errors.  So look for more blog posts on this topic and make your book as good as it can be.

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4 thoughts on “Ten mistakes a reader never misses: Slippery words (Part 2)

  1. Julie Catherine says:

    This is one of my ‘pet peeves’ when I’m reading what could otherwise be an excellent piece of work – thank you for writing about this.

    May I point out that there is an error in the third line of the paragraph? (A space that shouldn’t be there, in “Th e Catch-22”.)

    • keithogorek says:

      Ouch. You are correct. That is the problem with blog posts. Even bloggers can make errors. I made my point without trying to make it.

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