List of Common Writing Errors and How to Fix Them

I am studying, The Curious Case of the Misplaced Modifier: How to Solve the Mysteries of Weak Writing, by Bonnie Trenga.  This are my notes from her “Top Ten Writing Misdemeanors.”

it’s vs. its
The only time it’s should be used is if you can substitute the words “it has” or “it is” in the sentence.

who’s vs. whose
who’s means “who is” or “who has”
whose is possessive:  Whose book?  Whose car?

Cliches:  Here’s a list of cliches to avoid like the plague (see what I did there)

Similar Sounding Words
similar words-2.jpg

Hyphenated Compounds
A hyphenated compound come before what it is describing.  It doesn’t need to be hyphenated if it comes after what it describes.
1.  Example: The red-haired children jumped on the trampoline.
2. Example:  The children who jumped on the trampoline were red haired.

Fewer vs. Less

  1. Fewer is used when an item is countable.
    1. Example:  There were fewer pencils in the drawer than before the party.
  2. Less is used when and item is uncountable.
    1. Example:  There were less stars visible in the city sky than the country sky.

Generic Vocabulary & Phrases the Bore Readers

Generic Phrases:
is able to
there is
it is
this is

Generic Vocabulary

More Writing Resources

Microsoft Word - VagueWordsList.doc

Pardon the Interruption


What does an interruption cost?  According to an article written by Steve Pavlina, even a small interruption can:

      1. Delay work by 20-30 minutes
      2. Increase stress
      3. Create greater room for error
      4. Can even kill a task completely

My family is constantly interrupting me when I write, no wonder I can only finish one paragraph in 45 minutes.  I want to become  a more effective writer.  My time is precious and I want to make it count, so how do I do that?

“Highly productive people know the importance of working in uninterrupted blocks of time with good focus and concentration.  Consequently, they take steps to guard against interruption…” -Steve Pavlina

I want to become an author one day, I want my romantic story to sit on a shelf at the local bookstore, and to have people lose themselves in its pages for a a few hours of their lives.  But, unless I continue to write, that dream will never reach fruition.  I can no longer afford to wait for “writing time” to present itself, I must become proactive, this is my Third Act.

1.  When will I write?
1:00-2:30 Monday-Thursday

2.  Where will I write?
My living room recliner, I like to write with my feet up.

3.  How will I cancel out noise?
I have a playlist of Piano Guys songs, yummy.  I will plug in my earphones and hit play.

4.  What steps will I take to guard against interruption?
The time slot I have chosen is when I have only one kid at home, and it’s her nap time.  Happy dance!

Tell me your plan.
How will you guard against interruption and get your book written?