Sally Chewter - Copy Editor / Proofreader

Sally's Blog (28)

10 Mistakes New Fiction Writers Make

For new writers, seeing errors or short-comings in your writing is a skill yet to be developed and something many have a hard time understanding.

As professional writers, we become so attached to our work that seeing our mistakes, whether we are new to the profession


Five writing rules that aren’t obvious

Michael A VentrellaGuest post by author Michael Ventrella

Just because you have a book published does not mean you know everything there is to know about writing. You can always get better. My first novel (Arch Enemies) was accepted and published by Double Dragon, and I was thrilled.


Write and Publish Your Book Before Age 55

With thanks to Jacqui Malpass MBA, Personal Brand Strategist, Mentor, Book Coach and Author


woman reading bookHindsight is a marvellous gift. What I have learned about writing is that it presents you with insight and clarity far beyond any other tool I have encountered.

A scan of the Internet will tell you that the divorce rate for women over 50 is increasing.


What questions does your personal story answer?

With thanks to Jacqui Malpass MBA, Personal Brand Strategist, Mentor, Book Coach and Author

edit-questionLooking at writing a book - an autobiography, perhaps - here are some points to get you thinking about your personal story and how it can help your readers.

How well do you know your ideal reader? People buy books because they want some sort of outcome or solution that it gives


Do I need a website?

Thanks once again to the Stroppy Author for this excellent advice! See more at

"I've been looking at your website..."

Do authors need websites? It's a question often asked. The answer, predictably, is 'it depends', though I'd tend toward 'Yes'.


Language Mistake of the Month

Allison VanNest, Head of Communications at Parsely, Inc.

Unnecessary Modifiers

Dangling  Modifiers picAs Mark Twain once wrote, “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”

Unnecessary modifiers make your writing weak and bloated, burying your message in a deluge of quites and rathers. These modifiers add no value to the sentences in which they appear. The first step to fixing the problem is identifying the filler words in your writing.

These words, also called intensifiers or qualifiers, are almost always adverbs. Here’s a list of the most commonly abused modifiers:


Ready to Write your Book?

by Jacqui Malpass MBA, Personal Brand Strategist, Mentor, Book Coach and Author

BookHere are some questions to get you thinking about your personal story and how it can help readers:

  1. How long have you been talking about writing a book?
  2. How many times have you been told that you should write a book?
  3. How many books have you read and thought, “I could have written that”?
  4. You all have stories that you want to tell. Yet you’re not telling them. Why?
  5. What questions does your book and personal story answer?
  6. How well do you know the ideal reader for your book? People buy books because they want some sort of outcome, solution or result. Your personal story is part of answering those needs.

"Stroppy Author"

www.annerooney.comTake a look at this excellent blog by the "Stroppy Author" -

Here's a sample:

"So - now you're a writer. You've got your book deal and drunk the champagne. Congratulations. What next? Is this book going to be a one-off or just your first? If the former, don’t worry your pretty little head over things like repro, margins, PLR, bogofs, bungs and e-ink. But if you are serious about being a writer, you need to know a bit about the business. Your publishers will respect you more – or at least find you difficult to patronise – if you know what you're both talking about."

Check out the Stroppy Author's section on "How to Speak Publisher" - all will become clear:

Six Common Writing Mistakes by First-Time Authors

When it comes to writing, every writer is unique, but mistakes made by new authors are not. Below are the six most common writing mistakes that fiction editors come across.


wordinessWordiness can come from over-describing, over-explaining, and use of words which aren't needed. Editors see this all the time.


The Difference a Letter Makes ...

One Letter WrongA humorous radio show recently had a round concerning the effect of a single mis-typed letter on film titles, proverbs or sayings. I thought it worth sharing some of these - maybe you can think of some more!

  1. Look before you leak
  2. Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we diet
  3. A thong of beauty is a joy for ever
  4. Never a borrower nor a bender be
  5. A watched pet never boils
  6. Great minds think alice
  7. Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder
  8. Don't bite the hand that feels you
  9. The road to Hull is paved with good intentions
  10. Farting is such sweet sorrow
  11. You can’t get blood out of a scone
  12. Give a man a fish and you can feel him for a day
  13. Love thine enema
  14. It ain't over 'til the fat lady sinks
  15. Seven rides for seven brothers.
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