It’s that time again, a simple call for questions. This time I’m looking for anything you want to know about editing, grammar, punctuation, proofreading, etc.
Please submit your question in the comments below, send me an email or leave a post on Facebook or Twitter.
Writing is hard. Anyone who has ever sat down at a computer (or typewriter or blank sheet of paper) knows that it can be a daunting task to set your ideas down in writing. Because of the difficulty of the task, many people often fall back on comfortable words and phrases to help them get by.
One step to fine tuning your writing is to figure out what words you rely on when you don’t know what else to say, find them in your writing and eliminate them. Here are three common ones that I have seen in writing:
Poor Miss Teen South Carolina (Caitlin Upton) didn't have the benefit of being able to write down her statement and see how silly it looks/sounds. Anyone listening to her response and having even the slightest knowledge of the English language would be appalled. That’s why I highly recommend reading your writing out loud. By verbalizing the text, you will be able to hear things that are repetitive and may not sound as good as when you wrote them.
Of course, you literally could just such as ignore my advice…
Do you have a story that you’re writing or a big paper due at school? Always feel like you can’t just get your point across the way you want to? I have an opportunity for you.
I’m offering you a limited time offer through the end of November to let me help you grow as a writer by reviewing a piece of writing that you need help with. Just fill out the form below and I will respond to your request within 48 hours. I would like to keep the offer to anything under 10 pages, but if it’s around that length, we can certainly discuss options.
Fill out the form and start becoming a better writer today!
Photo Credit: Alfonso Diaz via sxc.hu
Everyone has a story to tell. I’m sure something has happened in your life in the past year that you could write a story about. It doesn’t have to be as long and involved as Tolstoy, elegant as Shakespeare or even as funny as Vonnegut (yes, I know some people don’t “get” Vonnegut’s humor). But there is a story in there that needs to be told.
I hear you asking the question. “How can I write a story? I’m a terrible writer.” That’s where I come in. Don’t let your (perceived) lack of writing skills deter you from telling the story that you need to tell. Just get out a piece of paper or your favorite word processing program and start writing. Tell your story out loud if you have to and write down the story as you tell it. Don’t worry about it making sense right now, just get the basics down. Once you’re done with that, give me a call and let’s talk about polishing up your story and getting it ready for prime time.
Photo Credit: Bartosz Borecki via sxc.hu
Small disclosure, it was recently my son's birthday and he received a gift of a remote control car that is supposed to be able to drive on walls. I have yet to make it do this, but I'm hoping batteries might be the culprit.
But the point here is the absolutely horrid instruction sheet that came with the toy. I'm not sure where the person who wrote it learned to use the English language, but I AM sure that it was not in this country or any other where English is the primary language spoken by the majority of people. In probably fewer than 500 words that were printed on the instruction sheet, I found at least 15-20 grammatical errors and numerous sentences that didn't make any sense. There were spelling mistakes and information that if you followed it to the letter, would probably lead to permanently ruining the device.
All that being said, i had to snap a few pictures just to prove the point. I don't think I'm infringing on any copyrights with posting pictures of this document as I doubt anyone would want to publicly claim this debacle.
Photo Credit: kristja via sxc.hu
I have decided to move my Best Word Forward page to Weebly for two reasons. Firstly, I like the design interface better than at Wix and I am able to get started on a new blog to help drive traffic to the site. Secondly, I felt like the site needed a reset and the best way to go about that was to move it completely.
I am adding a blog feature to the Best Word Forward site as you no doubt have already noticed. This blog will focus on writing tips. My goal is to help you become a better writer so that you don't even need me.
So here I embark on a new venture with editing and proofreading. If you need help with this, please don't hesitate to contact me. If you have questions about grammar, punctuation, spelling, anything related to your writing, drop me a line or put a comment here on the blog and I will try to get a post up about it.
Jonathan Ytreberg is the owner of Best Word Forward, committed to providing the best resume advice and services to clients around the globe.