Editing

The Experience Of Giving And Receiving Feedback

My brain melted. I spent an evening reading two stories and trying to critique them, constructively of course.

I’ve forgotten how much work giving feedback is, especially to people you hardly know.

I keep going back and forth between I’m being too harsh or honest. Besides, I would want people to be truthful by providing useful suggestions, not tell me my piece is perfect, which everyone did in elementary and high school.

I like to think I have a good grasp of grammar, so I can’t help myself when I see a comma splice or a dangling modifier. But I also realize grammar isn’t always the main issue. Writers want and need feedback on style, flow, etc.

Editing is a lot of work. It’s one thing to edit your own story. It’s a whole other beast entirely when you have to critique someone else’s.

I try to give feedback I’d like to receive. So I do what I can to balance content suggestions with grammatical corrections.

Ideally, I could sit down with someone and talk to them face to face about their work. But when does that ever happen?

On the other side, getting feedback is great but still a challenge.

I hate my ego sometimes for getting in the way.

I don’t always apply every comment. At times, I am dismissive or defensive.

It helps to get an outside perspective on your writing. And I think having strangers critique your story has its advantages. They don’t know you like your family and friends do. Most of the time, they don’t have to go out of their way to protect your feelings.

But I’m careful with my comments. I include question marks following my suggestions. I say maybe and perhaps so many times, it’s not even funny. I tend to add a disclaimer at the beginning or end, saying something along the lines of take what works, toss what doesn’t. If anything is unclear, ask me to clarify.

I guess I’m well aware my ego is big but fragile, yet I don’t want to hurt anyone else’s because I’ve been on both sides of the proverbial coin.

Blogging · Writing

How Being A Blogger Made Me A Better Writer

I don’t know many things, but I know that blogging has improved my writing. So I figured after four years of managing this blog, I should write a post explaining how being a blogger made me a better writer. And continues to. Let’s see where this goes.

Brevity

Before blogging, I used to be somewhat lengthy and wordy at times. But I’ve cut down on that. Get my point across. Use as many words as I need to. No more, no less.

Grammar

I try to use good grammar all the time. Blogging isn’t an exception. I’ve also run into instances where I’m unsure of a grammatical rule while I’m writing a blog post and had to look it up. It never hurts to have greater exposure to grammar.

Style

Everyone has their own style, even though it takes plenty of time to develop.

Voice

Being on WordPress allowed me to discover myself on many fronts. And because I aim to blog every day, I have had a lot of chances to figure out who I am.

How has blogging helped you as a writer?

Writing

10 Things To Assume About Writers

I know I preach to the choir that one should not assume. But if I know nothing about you except that you’re a writer, I’m going to make an exception.

Here are ten things I associate with writers.

  1. You read. If you’re a writer, you’re a reader. So don’t be surprised if I ask you what you’re currently reading or what novels you’ve enjoyed in the past. Bonding over books is the best type of bonding after all. 
  2. You’re observant. Writers are amazing at observing everything and everyone. Understatement of the year. Maybe you’re secretly a ninja too. As fun as it is to be detail-oriented, that can also drive you insane. Stay sane.
  3. You support other writers. Since you know the struggle better than anyone, why wouldn’t you encourage others who are also struggling.
  4. You have a good grasp of grammar. But I also understand the urge to disregard rules completely. They were made to be broken, right?
  5. You can empathize. You have to put yourself in the shoes of fictional characters all the time. I hope you can do the same with human beings.
  6. You have an online presence. This is especially true if you’re younger. Facebook. Twitter. A blog. A website. At the very least, I’ll be able to stalk you somewhere on the Web. Oh, don’t get me started on the growing pains of social media. I’m getting so old. 
  7. You’re smart. You probably have a wealth of knowledge in that beautiful brain of yours. Care to share?
  8. You like stories. Hearing them and telling them. I hope you have a lot because I’m all ears. Or if you rather listen to mine, I’d be more than willing to bore you to tears.
  9. You’re working on something. Whether it’s a short story or an epic novel, you probably have a work in progress on your plate. Maybe even multiple projects you’re managing at the same time. Multi-tasking is a way of life. 
  10. You write. If all I know about is that you’re a writer, I’m going to suppose more than anything that you write. I’ll likely proceed to wonder what you dabble in. Fiction? Non-fiction? Fantasy? History?

I think it’s relatively safe to assume writers write words.

Grammar

Not Studying Grammar

It hasn’t hit me yet that I have a 3 hour grammar test tomorrow.

I had every intention to study. But I haven’t.

I was going to read a book about grammar. I didn’t open it.

Then again, I figure reading general books that have nothing to do with grammar will expose me to good sentence construction.

I’ve also been trying to convince myself that my grasp of grammar isn’t too shabby. I’m a writer, after all. How bad can my grammar be?

Grammar

On Learning Grammar

When I’m learning grammar, I feel smart and stupid at the same time. Smart because I like to think I have some knowledge about pronoun antecedent agreement, dangling modifiers, possessives, etc. But stupid because I don’t know everything.

There’s an annoying part of me that expects my small brain to know everything, especially when it comes to anything related to syntax or morphology. That part is also responsible for making me feel like I have to be perfect all the time. Guess what? I’m not. What a surprise.

She’s just going to have to accept my faulty judgement and erroneous ways.

Grammar

I Love The Oxford Comma

I love commas. I mean I love every punctuation mark.

I don’t discriminate. I don’t exclude.

But I really love the Oxford comma. And if you don’t, I’m not judging you. *secretly judges you from afar*

How can you not love it and use it?

For the love of grammar, do employ commas correctly. Even better you can’t really go wrong with an Oxford comma. It tends to clear up confusion in some cases.

Who wants to be confusing and unclear?

Not you. So use the Oxford comma. And yes, I’m assuming everyone knows what it is because you should. Honestly, I’m too lazy to explain it. Also, someone out there has defined it more eloquently than I ever would.

So please, please my eyes and use the Oxford comma. And all commas. Correctly, especially. If I see a comma splice, it’ll be too soon.

Editing

Editing Checklist

Editing Checklist Graphic

A checklist for editing your stories.

No need to thank me. 

Writing

Write The Right Way With Grammarly

I’m a broke university student who uses Grammarly, so I’m not a broke, failing university student.

Grammar Checker

Ever thought about investing in a grammar, plagiarism, and spell checker to take your writing to the next level?

Well, Grammarly can check all that and more!

What Is Grammarly?

Grammarly improves communication among the world’s more than 2 billion native and non­native English writers. Millions of registered users worldwide trust Grammarly’s products, which are also licensed by more than 600 leading universities and corporations.”

What do I get for Free?

You’ll get Grammarly’s best­in­class automated proofreader in three different formats. All of them will check your writing for spelling mistakes (including contextual errors) and 150 types of grammatical mistakes. Grammarly will also help you identify wordiness, vocabulary mistakes, and more. The three formats you will have instant access to are the online Grammarly Editor, the Grammarly browser extension, and Grammarly for your desktop.

Why Premium?

To give you a clearer picture of why many users choose to upgrade to Premium, here is a simple guide to the features available with both products.”

Grammarly Free Versus Premium

You can obviously get the free version for free. But why settle for free when you can upgrade to the premium version instead?

The editor has helped me fix countless of my most common grammar and spelling mistakes. You’d be surprised at some of the things I’ve typed. It should come as no surprise that the spell checker has saved me from utter embarrassment and total humiliation. There’s a reason why I never won a spelling bee growing up. I never will. I don’t deserve to.

Also, since everyone’s so fond of saying I plagiarized when I actually wrote the piece myself, it’s nice to know Grammarly has my back.

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If you use any of these links, I’ll earn a small commission and you’ll be supporting this blog. You will also earn my appreciation forever. What more could you possibly want?

I completely understand if you don’t want to or aren’t in a position to purchase Grammarly. But you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by simply trying the free version.

Thank you so much. As always, happy writing.