Monday, February 16, 2009
By Carol Denbow
When new authors write non-fiction, they will often base their subject matter on personal experiences. One mistake commonly made, is the over use of the word “I” in the beginning of sentences. “I know this because I’ve been there, done that.” Or, “I did it this, or that way.” Over use of “I” can make your work sound self-absorbing; not something you should want to portray to your readers—especially if your plans include a follow-up edition. Try finding other words to begin your sentences, such as, “Having learned my self, I tried it this way, and it seemed to work.”
Another word or “phrase” really, to avoid beginning a sentence with, “Oh, by the way,…” Before you add this to your text, sit back and decide if it is really necessary to make your point. “I went to the grocery store and they don’t have beans. Oh, by the way, they didn’t have rice either.” Instead, how about, “When I went to the grocery store they didn’t have beans or rice.” Play with your sentences and try to hone in on your creativity.
“You should try fishing on the Rouge River.” Sounds a bit like your insisting I do what you ask. How about, “Fishing on the Rouge River is great.” It’s okay to address your reader in a personal manner, but overuse of the same word, such as, “you,” might begin to sound aggressive in tone; try sounding more suggestive rather than forceful.
Over use of any words makes your manuscript sound repetitive and unprofessional. The wonderful thing about this computer age (specifically Thesaurus), is that the dictionary is at our disposal at all times—use it! If you just can’t “find the words,” you certainly should be able to with the help of your writing software.
To complete and publish your own book, read A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story available through AuthorsBox.com, Amazon.com, or wherever fine books are sold.
Visiting editors and writers! Please feel free to correct me or add your own comments on this topic below through the comment link.