Posted: 2008-01-19

Some Writing Tips

by The Dream Painter

Hi Group,

Some of you know me. Some of you know my work, and most have read or seen some of my more public works under a different name. I have been involved in writing or editing books, articles, movie and television scripts for over thirty years.

I have surfed around the net looking at what other people are doing for a long time as well. Several years ago, I became a volunteer editor for StoriesOnline. I thought I could help, because there are a lot of good ideas and plots out there, but there are a few of our authors who have some trouble with grammar. There are a few of our writers that are just plain illiterate, and even fewer that come under the heading "TOTAL DUMB ASS."

Total Dumb Ass is defined as an illiterate that refuses to learn.

But all have a story to tell, and I applaud their wanting to take time to tell it.

As I edited or read the stories in SOL, there were a number of common mistakes made by just about every writer.

It would be understandable that we didn't pay a lot of attention in English 101. Most of us guys were staring at little Suzie's barely perceptible sweater bumps, while the teacher was talking about grammar. Then we grew up and fondled Suzie's now impressive rack instead of doing our homework. Meanwhile little Suzie was stuck to her chair, pretending not to notice us staring. Being so juiced, she couldn't complete her homework either.

We're supposed to learn grammar at the same age we first discovered our pecker? It's no wonder we grew up grammatically challenged.

I was fortunate that Ellen Brighton gave me my first blowjob in the seventh grade. Her mother was our English teacher, and I found every opportunity to get some tutoring that summer. When you equate grammar with blowjobs, becoming an English major is almost a given.

One of the problems with having a LOT of errors in your writing is that it makes people quit your story. When they quit your story, you get a low rating score. Low rating scores lead to everyone ignoring your work.

The key to it all is getting your hand out of your lap and EDIT EDIT EDIT. It is a writer's most onerous job. I hate it, Kurt Vonnegut hated it, and you hate it too. It is a fact of life though. If you want people to read your stuff, you have to make it readable.

I don't advertise editing anymore because I was swamped with requests. I tried to winnow it down some, but the requests kept coming. Regretfully most didn't need editing — they needed complete rewrites. I didn't have time or inclination to rewrite the dumb assed stuff. I loved editing when the author spends a lot of time making his work readable, and I still do some of that from time to time. I just couldn't be the editor and author on someone's half-assed attempts.

The following is a short list of the thirty-one most common errors that are hard to correct quickly. I took them directly from SOL stories that I read or edited.

I hope this helps.

The Basics

Follow these few basic rules and you will cut out 60% — 75% of your errors that make your perfectly good writing scream "He's a dumb ass."

Spell check! Every computer has one. So use it!

Some words are not picked up by spell check. You just have to use a dictionary once in a while. Forget about the so-called 'accepted usage'. Accepted usage is a lazy person's way of refusing to accept responsibility for their writing, or for proper grammar.

These are directly from SOL stories. I Swear!

  1. The words their, they're, there. These are VERY frequently misused in our stories.
    There - An adverb meaning "at that place" or "to that — As in, "OK missy, take your tiny little tail over there and get ready to get your box reamed.
    Their — A pronoun not including you or the speaker. — As in, "They were identical twins, but their labia looked different in the bright lights."
    They're — A contraction of they are. - As in, "Please lie down. They're going to screw your brains out now.
    In summary:
    Their bed is over there, and they're going to use it!

  2. When you stopped you ceased — not seized.

  3. Write out numbers under 100. Thirty-six — not 36.

  4. When her twat is tight you don't get stuck in a vice. It's a vise. The vice is screwing in the first place.

  5. Her heels punched out your kidneys while you did it. Heals is what a doctor does.

  6. "Then" is defined as "immediately or soon afterward" - "Than" is the word you want when doing comparisons. But if you are talking about time, choose "then" — As in: "At first he decided Jill's quiff was prettier than Beverly's, but then he changed his mind."

  7. If you are using dye to change your favorite T-shirt from white to blue you are dyeing it; but if you don't breathe for so long that your face turns blue, you may be dying.

  8. Sit vs. set — sit your ass down - set the tray down.

  9. Lightening vs. lightning - Lightening means to reduce the weight. Lightning is a flash in the sky.

  10. There is never ever a usage for the word ANYWAYS. It is not only improper; there is NO such word.

  11. Just so you never forget: There is never ever a usage for the word ANYWAYS. It is not only improper, there is NO such word.

  12. Your vs. You're ... Your is showing ownership, as opposed to you're — the contraction of you are.
    As in: You're going to have to give me your virginity tonight.

  13. Bear vs. bare: as in: losing her was too much for him to bear. Or - Lookie Momma! She's bare nekkid out chonder! - While we're at it — it's Teddy bear not teddy beer.

  14. You shuttered the house in case the tornado came. You shuddered when she touched your ding-dong.

  15. Let's put this one to rest one final time. DISRESPECT IS A NOUN. It is not a verb. You show disrespect. YOU DO NOT DISRESPECT SOMEONE. I don't care how often you've heard it, where you've seen it written, or what the asshole at the office told you. This is a no brainer. Spoken or written it is grammatically incorrect when used as a verb! Always.

  16. You scream until you are hoarse. You saddle up and ride a horse.

  17. To allude is to hint or suggest. To elude is to escape.

  18. Assure vs. ensure vs. insure - Assure is give confidence to someone or assurances that something is true. Ensure is to make certain something will occur. Insure is to make a financial guarantee.

  19. Everyday vs. every day - If every- is used as a prefix, the meaning shifts to "common" or "average" instead of the adverbial every as in "all" of something.
    Though she just had an everyday twat, he ate it every day.

  20. Flounder vs. founder - Flounder means to struggle, founder means to sink or fail.

  21. Irregardless — No such word. No accepted usage. This is a totally a dumb-ass word.

  22. Grisly vs. grizzly, Grizzly means gray in color, and is a type of grayish bear. Grisly is "horrible or gruesome" sights. As in: The grizzly bear attack resulted in a grisly scene.

  23. Shoestring - One word!

  24. Hung vs. hanged - Hanged is proper for executions. Items are hung - people are hanged. As in: They took the well hung vagabond out and hanged him.

  25. What ever vs. whatever - Use what ever in questions, whatever in other instances.
    "What ever are you doing?" she demanded.
    "Whatever I wish," he replied.

  26. Petite - Petite refers to height, not a complete smallness. You don't have petite breasts.

  27. Ph.D. - The correct form for a Doctor of Philosophy degree's abbreviation.

  28. Unhuman vs. inhuman — Unhuman is possessing no human traits, as opposed to inhuman, which means cruel.

  29. High quality - Items have quality, or they do not. Don't use modifiers, such as high or low.

  30. Immoral - Immoral means contrary to accepted standards. Amoral and unmoral mean without regard to moral standards. Actions are immoral, people are amoral.

  31. word-of-mouth - Always hyphenate, as a noun or adjective.

This is nowhere close to being all of the common errors. They are the most common I have found though.

Good luck, good writing, and may your keyboard not glue up.