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    Better Writing for FREE! 10 Tips to Proofread Anything

    I have something special to share with you all. It’s short, sweet, to the point, and, best of all, FREE! Would you like to know how to proofread anything? I thought so. Presenting my free guide, Ten Tips to Proofread Anything. These are all basic guidelines from a professional proofreader (yours truly) that you can apply to all kinds of writing: fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose, blog posts, biographies,…

  • What to Watch for Wednesday Tip of the Week: Insure vs Ensure vs Assure

    Insure vs. Ensure vs. Assure: What to Watch for Wednesday #5

    First off, apologies for the brief and unannounced hiatus. I’ve been battling burnout lately, and of course that’s had a big impact on my blogging. I’m working on getting my head back on straight, so hopefully I can stick to my schedule from here on out. Welcome to another edition of What to Watch for Wednesday, a weekly feature where I go over common issues I see when I’m proofreading…

  • An image of a female couple snuggled up together, with "The Essential Self-Editing Checklist For a story your readers won't forget Part #2: Character development & depth" overlain over it

    Self-Editing Series Part #2: Character Development and Depth

    Last week, I introduced you to the art of self-editing. This process is the bridge between a rough draft and a polished masterpiece. It allows you to refine your story and elevate your storytelling to new heights, and it saves you time and money. “But how do I edit my own writing?” you ask. “What do I need to focus on as I edit my fiction?” I’m glad you asked,…

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    How to Spell License: What to Watch for Wednesday #4

    You know what I’m doing here, folks? I am calling myself out. There is a word that was the bane of my existence for years, that stuck in my craw, that never seemed to come out of my brain correctly when I needed to use it. That word? License. Or Lisence? Lisense? Licence? My old trouble with this tricky lil word took me to the wilds of Google to get…

  • An image of a female couple snuggled up together, with "The Essential Self-Editing Checklist For a story your readers won't forget Part #1: Plot and Structure" overlain over it

    Self-Editing Series Part #1: Plot and Structure

    Hard truth time: If you are a writer, mistakes and editing are inevitable. Over the course of typing that sentence, I had to correct several typos. Typos happen. Grammar errors happen. We spot them, we clean them up, we move on with life, right? Thing is, sometimes the mistakes go deeper than that. You’re reading a nice book, and you get to a point where something isn’t right. You can…

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    Ask a Proofreader, Chirping Crickets Edition

    Didn’t receive any proofreading questions this week, womp womp. 🙁 What would help you the most with your writing or your proofreading? What do you need? What do you need help with? Please, do ask! I’d love to help you out if I can. Either submit your questions in the comments or by email, and I’ll post my answers next Thursday. While you’re here, would you like to know more…

  • The text "What to Watch for Wednesday" in all caps above a logo of a magnifying glass with a checkmark in it, followed by "Tip of the Week: i.e. vs. e.g." and the M. Neely Proofreading logo

    i.e. vs. e.g.: What to Watch for Wednesday #3

    Bobzo the Example guy had many theories about his neighbor, Frank. Bobzo read many books about supernatural creatures, i.e. werewolves, witches, ghosts, and the like, and had concluded that Frank was a vampire. Frank, from what he could tell, seemed to suffer from alliumphobia, e.g. the fear of garlic, and a bit of heliophobia—fear of the sun—as well. Was Frank really a vampire? Clearly! Or did Bobzo just read too…

  • A banner saying "The Key to Clarity Proofreading Product Descriptions" over an image of grocery store shelves

    The Key to Clarity: Proofreading Product Descriptions

    Product descriptions. You can hardly go out without running into another product description. They’re everywhere! So how on earth are you going to get your product description to pop? By ensuring your customers see the product’s value. A good product description is like any other kind of writing. You want it to grab your reader by the eyes and capture their attention. You want it to compel them, to make…

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    Ask a Proofreader #1

    Last week, I put out a call for questions from readers, and I received this one: Question: My biggest struggle with proofreading is how to know a piece has been edited to its fullest potential and the desired meaning comes across. Generally I put the pieces down and come back to it after a few days to a week, but do you have any shortcuts or tips? This is a…

  • The text "What to Watch for Wednesday" in all caps above a logo of a magnifying glass with a checkmark in it, followed by "Tip of the Week: Dashes and Hyphens" and the M. Neely Proofreading logo

    Dashes and Hyphens: What to Watch For Wednesday #2

    The 1400—2022 period of history was quite eventful. Many births, deaths, and other happenings happened-I cannot hazard a guess of how many. And now here we are, in 2023, with more happenings happening every day-so many happenings. Maybe someday, we will take an in–depth look at them all-okay, probably not; this is a proofreading blog, not a news blog. In the meantime, let’s take an in–depth look at what on…

  • Crafting Style: 10 Fiction Style Pitfalls to Avoid

    Navigating and Overcoming 10 Common Stylistic Pitfalls in Fiction Writing Crafting a captivating writing style is a tricky journey. Between dialogue and prose, the whole show vs. tell Thing you’re always hearing about, conflict, clichés, and all the rest—not to mention editing afterward—you’ve got a daunting road ahead of you. Is it worth it? Let me work it. I put my thang down, flip it, and reverse it. Ahem. Sorry…

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