Mistakes of New Writers

Jody Lebel
Published on: October 2012
You may be a new writer, but avoid looking like an amateur by not making these common errors.

1) You don't entitle books, songs or movies. You title them. Keep that in mind when you're writing your query letter to a potential agent or editor. Entitle refers to ownership of something. My novel is titled Playing Dead. I am entitled to all the rights for this book.

2) The difference between 'fewer' and 'less than'. Would you write: The woman had fewer than 200 designer bags; or The woman had less than 200 designer bags? Use 'fewer' with things you can count, and 'less than' with quantities. She had fewer than 200 designer bags and less than enough sense to stop buying them.
mistakes of new writers,errors
3) The difference between its and it's. Which sentence is correct?
a) Its time to get ready for school.
b) It's time to get ready for school.
The answer is B. It's is a contraction of it is. Its is possessive. The flower became famous because of its vibrant color.

4) The difference between their and there. This is the most common written error made. Their is possessive. It's their property. Tomorrow we will travel there to view it.

5) If something is 'prohibited altogether', it is not more prohibited than prohibited, just twice as long. The same applies to 'end result'. A result is the end. Just use the word result. As far as 'whether or not'? Just use whether.

6) Do not use the word 'however' in your writing. It is melodramatic and unnecessary. It also encourages you to string sentences together making bulky writing.

7) The same advice for 'in addition' 'moreover' and 'thusly'. They are old fashioned, too formal, and stuffy. Avoid them.

8) NEVER use multiple exclamation points!!!! It looks very much like high-school notes passed in study hall. The rule is you may have three exclamation points for every 100,000 words. I would eliminate them entirely.
9) Do not use parentheses in a novel. Save them for scholastic or technical work.

10) Be careful with the word 'make'. You may be turning verbs into cumbersome nouns. Don't make alterations to the wedding gown. Just alter it. Don't make wedding plans. Plan the wedding.
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