writing

  • 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,…

  • 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: license" and the M. Neely Proofreading logo

    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 that says M. Neely Proofreading and Ask a Proofreader

    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…

  • Got Questions? #1

    Do you have any questions about how to proofread? How to write better? Grammar, spelling, you name it? Or maybe ideas for what you’d like to see here? Drop me a line! Either ask me in the comments, use my contact form, or send me an email. I’ll share the answers next Thursday. Send me those questions!

  • What to Watch for Wednesday: Weary vs. Wary

    Welcome to the first edition of What to Watch for Wednesday, a weekly feature where I go over common issues I see when I’m proofreading or wandering through the wilds of the internet. These may be usage errors, common grammar issues, common spelling issues, or anything else along those lines. If you have an issue that you’d like to see highlighted and explained, drop me a line! “I’m weary of…

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