This is the continued saga of my foray into Janice Hardy’s Revise Your Novel in 31 Days at-home workshop (blog.janicehardy.com).
Today I am looking for grammatical errors. I am to correct any faulty parallelisms, fix any comma splices, be consistent with serial commas, and fix incorrect apostrophes, contractions, and pronouns.
As soon as I read this list, I knew my weakness was comma splices. I like to leave the “and” out of my compound sentences. An example of a sentence I revised is, “She finished digging the hole, rested a moment.” That’s the way I ‘hear’ it in my head, but it needs an ‘and’ in place of the comma. I do this more frequently than I like to admit.
Results: It helps to be reminded what kind of grammar errors to look for. I am just smart enough about grammar to think I do it right the first time. Color me humbled.
If grammar is a weak area for you, you may want to do a more in-depth proofing of your manuscript than this lesson covers. There are lots of sites online as well as many good grammar books that can help you.
Sometimes life gets in the way of what we want to do, so don’t sweat it if it takes a little longer than the advertised 31 days. I will admit now that I plan to do a quick run-through again after this workshop is finished. It hasn’t been possible for me to check every word suggested on every lesson, so I have concentrated primarily on the areas where I am weakest.
How are you holding up with these lessons? Have you been able to keep up?
Tomorrow is the last day. Be prepared to celebrate!
See you on the next page.