Grammar Gaffes (and How to Avoid Them in Your Writing)

The sentence read as follows:

"I like cooking my family and my pets."

I had to laugh. It's amazing the changes that take place when we work words...or sometimes when they work us.

The bottom line is this, most of these errors are so avoidable and would have been caught in an edit.

 I was reading through an author's proposal recently, it was riddled with misspelled words and grammatical errors. That was just the proposal. When I got to the sample chapters, they were worse.

Normally I would have just deleted the entire document, but felt to reach out to the author. Perhaps they didn't realize the statement they were making in submitting something in that condition.

"Well, that is actually my second book. I self-published my first one," she explained.

"And did the first one go through any type of a professional edit or even a spell-check?" I asked gently.

"Well, it was a story for kids. I didn't have the money for an edit, and they wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway."

Another proposal in a similar disarray of misspelled words was explained when the author stated,

"I didn't have time to run a spell check. I'm very busy."

Again, I had to laugh, as I hit "delete."  Perfection in a document isn't what agents or publishers are looking for. But professional writing is. That includes making sure that you put your best foot forward and send us something that shows what you can really do.

Creativity matters.

Believable characters matter.

Transitions matter.

Details matter.

Grammar matters

And a PROFESSIONAL edit is essential.

Getting off my soapbox now.

Karen Hardin - Literary Agent and Marketing Guru
PriorityPR Group & Literary Agency