I’m going through and doing a fine comb edit on Against Flesh and Blood, the next installment in my Lawman series. In the process of editing, I’ve identified a number of mistakes I’m in the habit of making, and not all of them get caught by my software proofing tools or beta readers.
That said, maybe you’re making the same mistakes, and can learn from my typos, etc.
First, the word “out” or “our.” While two very different words meaning two different things, the last letter in each is arranged right next to each other. Often times I’m writing away and type “our” when I meant “out,” or the reverse is true. That said, I do a search through my text for both words, that way I make sure I didn’t screw up on one when I meant the other.
“He” is another word I tend to mess up. With the simple stroke of a key, I accidentally make a guy a girl by typing “she.” Of course the reverse is also true. Either way, it’s a problem I run into. Unfortunately, they’re both often used pronouns, so again I do a search and look at each and every one of them. That’s a lot of fun.
In conjunction with “he,” oftentimes I meant to spell “the” and somehow miss the “T”. Very annoying.
Annoyingly, I’ve picked up a bad habit someplace. I have a character talking, I put the statement in quotation marks, complete with the punctuation like it should be, and then I add a period outside of it all. Sometimes, Grammarly will catch it, but don’t count on it.
I’ve also gotten into the annoying habit of having my central character start layout of operations with the word “OK.” Then he starts laying out what he’s got in mind. I’m having to scrub that out because it makes him sound indecisive.
Of course there’s the usual “he said” or “she said.” They’re in there by the basketful. These are called tags and can be very annoying. It just finished The Old Man and the Sea (never read Hemingway), and I understood he hated tags. Interesting how he used very few.
Of course there’s my life long love affair with the comma to contend with, and my annoying use of apostrophes. So that might keep me busy for weeks.
That just a few things I’m catching. Hope it helps.