The Insecure Writer's Support Group was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh. August's co-hosts are Christine Rains, Dolorah @ Book Lover, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Yvonne Ventresca, and LG Keltner. Find the other IWSG participants here.
August's question: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing? As a reader, I didn't have many pet peeves beyond "too much description." I didn't really have any when I started writing, except head hopping and trying to figure out "show vs. tell." But when I became an editor, I'll admit certain grammar things quickly became my pet peeves. The one that irks me the most is one I am guilty of not using properly in the past until I read a manuscript where, I kid you not, the author had used that particular phrasing—and mostly improperly—nearly every single dang sentence.
That pet peeve is the overuse and improper use of participial phrases (verb+ing/ed + rest of phrase). The correct way to use them is for the participial phrase to be happening simultaneously as the independent clause (subject + verb) as well as for the participial phrase referring to the nearest noun. I used to be rather loose with my participial phrases, but man, editing that manuscript cured me. Now I cringe when I see one referencing the wrong noun or just being overused.
Of course, if the story is good, I can even overlook that particular pet peeve.
What is your pet peeve? Do you have any insecurities this month?
I have quite a few goals I'd like to accomplish in August. These goals include:
- Finish editing Forged (The Fate Challenges #2) and send it to my critique partners.
- Add in proofreading changes to my short story "The Folding Point" forthcoming in Spirits in the Water (Elements of Untethered Realms #4) and design the headers for the eleven stories.
- Edit the outline for Destined (The Fate Challenges #3), format the manuscript, and start editing it.
- Edit the outlines for the Soul Reaper series (A Soul to Save, A Soul to Kill, A Soul to Reap, A Soul to Keep, and A Soul to Take). I need to finish this particular task by the end of September, so I can start writing A Soul to Take (Soul Reaper #3) in October.
- Format and proofread the last novella in my friend's fantastic nine-part novella series.
What are your goals for August?
On July 26, WildMind Creative published an interview of me. You can read the interview here.
I also discovered on August 1 that Marked (The Fate Challenges #1.5) was selected for AllAuthor's Cover of the Month competition. You can vote for Marked here.
2017 Stats: 89,339 words written and 677,315 words edited
BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED
SPECULATIVE FICTION BOOKS
RELEASING IN AUGUST
Project Pandora by Aden Polydoros
Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore
Halls of Law by V. M. Escalada
Ekata: Fall of Darkness by Dominique Law
Blood and Thunder by Angela Roquet
Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Descending Moon by Christine Rains
True Shifter by Christine Rains
The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones
The Third Kiss by Kat Colmer
Thanks for stopping by! I'll be mostly offline August 25-September 4, so I've decided to turn off the comments feature on this post as of August 25. I'll be back with a new post on September 6 for IWSG!
I have so many grammar mistakes that you'd cringe. I've gotten much better over the years, so says my editor...
It sounds like you're hitting your goals, congrats!!
I don't really like descriptions so this is a peeve of mine too
I have no idea if my clauses and participials clash...
Me either, Alex. I'm a writer damn it, not an editor. (Think Star Trek) Right now I'm glad of it. hehehe
Anna from elements of emaginette
This is my biggest pet peeve as an editor, too. That and comma splices. I had to fix a lot of both in the last book I edited.
It's amazing how focusing on something makes you that much pickier, eh? There are so many things I ignored before getting serious about editing for other people. Still, I try to turn that part of my brain off while reading for fun.
Congrats on making all those goals. Ouch on the pet peeve as I'm at times guilty but my editor gets me back in line.
When they use it every sentence, you have to wonder if they ever went back and actually read their own story.
That's an intense pet peeve, lol!
My goal for August is to spread the word about my new book.
I can forgive a lot of things if the story compels me. I do come to a screeching halt over those comma splices. Old teacher habit, I guess.
I used to help edit a small football website, and the one big thing that annoyed me was sloppy submission. Occasionally writers would submit blog entries with spelling errors or where a sentence didn't communicate things clearly. The kind of things that would become obvious if you came back with fresh eyes. As an editor (and a reader) I can forgive a lot of imperfect things, but not sloppiness.
I hate dangling participles. Unfortunately, I see them occasionally in many published books, even bestsellers. I'm not even talking about raw manuscripts, where this particular grammar crime happens all the time. For some reason, it is one of the grammatical concepts many writers struggle with.
That was my original pet peeve as a reader as well. I think I glossed over excessive description. Now I force myself to pay attention at all times! :) Thanks for the insight! http://www.raimeygallant.com
Head-hopping and lengthy descriptions are things that drive me crazy.
Sometimes we don't realize we're guilty of something until it's been pointed out and demonstrated by an editor or critique partner, or after we've let old drafts sit for a long time until starting to revise them. I, for example, honestly wasn't aware of how severely I overused the word "even," as well as my overuse of "nodded/nods" as a dialogue tag. We could have the greatest editor or critique partner in the world pointing out things like this, but it won't make an impact on us until we ourselves understand just WHY it's an issue. Ever since a critique partner pointed out my overuse of "even," I can't stop seeing it in previous drafts!
You're rocking the goals!
I've learned a lot through writing, and one of the things I remember learning was the -ing simultaneous action sentences, and how they were bad. Guess you gain more pet peeves once you gain more knowledge!
Reading all these pet peeves makes me paranoid about my own grammar!
Good luck with all of your goals!
Lots of great goals. Wishing you much success.
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit
Wonderful month for you, and all the authors you reviewed. It does feel good to fulfill that part of the TBR list. Did that in the spring, and need to get back to it!
Gook luck with all you've challenged yourself with!
I love the header here! Wow, lots of goals this month. I wish you success in meeting them all.
I'm sure I cause a lot of cringes with my writing. Though, I've gotten better, right? *LOL* You can do it this month. Thank you again for the review, and awesome new header. :)
Great goal progress! And another set for this month...I'm tired just reading it. LOL! Good luck!
I've been trying to cut back on my use of participial phrases, since I tend to use them too much, which makes all my sentences sound the same.
Uh...what's a participial phrase??? I went to "Nosey School for Cyberspace Official Unofficial Reporters", ya know, so I'm kinda left dangling here...
It really is amazing how much we learn about writing from editing.
I wish I'd had time to do IWSG this month because I would have went to town on authors over-using passive voice and comma splices (using comma splices at all, actually). Ugh--comma splices! People write too much like how they speak, which is how the notorious comma splice was born.
I can only imagine that editing for others would definitely make mistakes jump out to me when I read for enjoyment.
I continue to work on improving my mistakes when I write, but thank goodness for editors!
The what? Huh? Um, I have no idea if I'm doing that right, or wrong. or something else.
You're so busy, and getting so much done. Good for you.
Glad July was a good month for you. I hope August is the same. Congrats on the interview and best of luck with the cover competition. You have lots of good things going on! :)
Uh, what's a participial phrase? See, I'm hopeless! Seriously, I have no idea!!!
So glad the editor does though!
Great progress on your goals! Congratulations!
You are one busy author! As for my literary pet peeves, I dislike repetitive words and phrases, and books with not enough description and all dialog.
Yes, Cherie I am with you on the tenses pet peeve. And parenthesis placed on the wrong side of periods gets me. But like you said, I'm more focused typically on content than grammar. :)
I know we're almost have way through August already, but good luck with your goals. I can't even remember right now if I blogged goals. I think I did, but the past week was so crazy I barely had time to think.
Like you, I've discovered a million new pet peeves in writing since I've started editing.
Let's just lump about all of them together by saying: "Sent in a rough draft, expecting me to perfect it by proofreading."
Congratulations on hitting all your goals!
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