- Confusion about a hyphen, an en dash and an em dash (I love the em dash)
- Using double spaces instead of single space between sentences (Single spaces, please!)
- Overuse of ellipses, parentheses, or exclamation marks (It makes your writing look juvenile)
- Overwriting and keeping phrases and scenes that don’t advance plot (Kill your darlings!)
- Manuscript that are mis-formatted (How to format: last name and title in the header, page numbers, respect margins, 1.5 to double space the text)
When writing fiction it’s okay to infuse the text with your personal style and voice, but it becomes distracting when writers don’t know the editing basics. I’m working on building a resources page on my blog that will be full of great books and articles to help you in this process.
Image via NYT
Q: What are your big editing pet peeves?