An Editor’s Pet Peeves by Debra Staples
An Editor’s Pet Peeves is a pocket guide identifying the most common mistakes made by many writers and offers tips on how to identify and correct these mistakes. It is just as useful for the beginning writing student as it is for a professional writer and includes sections on Structure and Form, punctuation and Grammar. Find it on SynergEBooks.
The art of simplicity is a simple element that writers, including myself, have abandoned in the supposed name of creativity. Debi captures the art of consistency and brings it to life in a fun and informing manner… you will do yourself a tremendous favor by reading this eloquent and informative piece, An Editor’s Pet Peeves.
This book is something we should extract from and pin all over our writing walls before we EVER decide to craft another story, be it fiction or truth. At the very minimum, Peeves should be used as a reference to accompany our innovative efforts, no matter the genre. While we may think we understand what we should be doing as writers, too often along the way we forget, get lazy or think that breaking the rules will somehow work itself out on the receiving end.
An Editor’s Pet Peeves highlights all the wrongs that matter in a concise way and is full of user-friendly examples to separate the differences between effective communication and outright writing nightmares.
Make flashcards from this book, keep them handy and consider it a timeless gift to yourself.
~ Trish Dozier, Author
Whether you’re submitting your work to an agent, a publisher, or publishing independently, nothing obscures great plots and wonderful dialogue more than poor punctuation, rambling sentences, and sloppy grammar. An Editor’s Pet Peeves, A Pocket Guide for Writers, offers a well-organized easy-to-use guide for finding and correcting the most common errors. Experienced editor and veteran publisher Debra
Staples illuminates these blind spots with clear examples and helpful suggestions to improve your writing. No author’s writing is perfect, but with the help of this guide, you can get a lot closer.
~ Armen Pogharian, Author
Let’s face it—most writers have reoccurring questions about grammar, punctuation, and structure but hate to digress from their work in progress to spend time researching the rule in question. This is where An Editor’s Pet Peeves, by Debi Staples, comes in handy. Just scroll through the Table of Contents and select the entry that addresses your concerns, check it out, and then get back to work. The text is direct, concise, and unambiguous. This makes it reader friendly for the writer looking for quick answers. And if stylistic questions are a concern, the pocket guide succinctly sums up issues like point of view, dialogue tags, tenses, flashbacks, narrative flow, and more. The author then closes with some recommendations that every writer will find instructive.
~ J.S. Bradford, Author
HOW WE SPEAK
If you ever just listen to people speaking, you will notice that most of us do not always speak grammatically correctly; people will pause often, or repeat certain words (such as “oh,” “um,” “huh,” etc.). And if you wish to make your dialogue realistic, there is a certain amount of that type of thing that is needed… even expected. But as I was taught in Scriptwriting class – by a professor who loved to embarrass me – that realistic dialogue often does not look very good on the page… and it is very distracting to read. (I was reminded of this when I rejected the script for Rocky because it sounded so incredibly stupid when I read it. Imagine reading Rocky Balboa’s speech on the written page.) So yes, do try to be realistic when you are writing dialogue, while at the same time, remember that your audience is reading these words, and that too much of that realism can really turn your reader off.
Example from Rocky:
I don’t know. Would you like to maybe … you know, you and me… go out, you know… together?
Of course, if you need to establish that a particular character is lower class, or has a speech impediment… or maybe he/she is five years old… then by all means, make your dialogue as realistic as possible. This goes along with not having the same voice for all of your characters – See KNOW YOUR CHARACTERS above.
Wife, mother of 2, and owner of SynergEbooks, an eBook Publishing company. I have been editing for the last 15 years. An Editor’s Pet Peeves is my first published work.