OK. So, after I write my post, I have to proofread it. Now, before we begin, I have to tell you (and this won’t be a surprise if you have read my blog for any length of time). I am not the Grammar Police. I’m all for the correct their/there/they’re and for using loose/lose appropriately. But you will find many a dangling participle and sentences ending in a preposition in these here parts.
It’s just how I roll.
I find it to be more conversational. I tend to write the way I actually speak. (Don’t you think, people who know me in real life?)
Anywhoo. THE POINT IS, grammar doesn’t have to be perfect but it does need to be tidied up a bit! So, the first thing I do is read my post OUTLOUD. It is amazing all the mistakes you will hear when you read aloud.
Here’s a few things I always listen for:
1. Duplicate words. I tend to overuse words. Amazing, awesome and so are my faves. If I see a duplicate word, I pull out my handy dandy thesaurus and come up with an amazing new word.
2. Non-Sentences. For some reason I am in the habit of writing incomplete sentences. For no good reason.
3. That. Did you know you almost never need to use the word “that”? Try it. You’ll see.
4. Strange Paragraphs. Short paragraphs are the way to go. Even if your post is super long, several short paragraphs will help people keep on reading. (This is only a guess, as I’m not sure if people actually read every word of my posts!) But because I am very short-paragraph-oriented, I end up having strange breaks in my paragraphs. I always have to rearrange first and closing sentences.
After reading my post out loud in my dashboard, I usually click PREVIEW and read it again on the preview page so I can get the feel for it on my blog. This will usually show me a few more mistakes. Then after I do everything else (like Parts 3-10 of this series) I probably re-read the whole thing about 5 more times. I’m not joking. And about half the time after I publish, I still read with an editor’s eye to make sure I didn’t miss a thing!
If you are insecure in your commas, grammar and sentence structure, you MUST READ Jessie‘s series, Before You Hit Publish. Jessie is an editor by trade (she edited Truth in the Tinsel for me) and clearly explains some basic editing you need to do on every post. You will glad you read it–and probably refer back to it often!
I’ll see you tomorrow for Part 3: Making Your Post STICKY!