After writing and publishing books for over five years, I feel like I have useful tips and hacks to help new writers have professional-looking work whether they write a book or not. For whatever reason, it's hard for me to outwardly call myself as a "good writer," but I will say that I'm an experienced writer. That being said, I hope you take these tips into consideration because they were created from mistakes and lessons that I've learned along the way.
1. Make Sure the Punctuation is Correct and Proper
Correct grammar is true across the board and is error-free. Proper grammar is suitable and/or appropriate considering the social standard. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it is correct. Knowingly, correct and proper punctuation dresses your words and ensures that readers read what you actually say and not what you mean to say. “In writing, punctuation plays the role of body language. It helps readers hear you the way you want to be heard." –-Russell Baker
2. Make Sure Capital Letters Have Been Used Correctly
While punctuation helps arrange words into understandable written communication, capitalization helps to show importance of specific words. Capitalization dips into the mechanics of writing a.k.a. the technical stuff.
3. Make Sure Each Idea is to One Paragraph
Paragraphs help organize work. It's pretty straight to the point.
4. Reread to Make Sure Spelling, Grammar, Syntax, and Sentence Structure is Correct
Spell check is great, but it doesn't replace a human editor. I recommend rereading before and after you spell check a document to make sure there are no inconsistencies in your work. Some errors can be corrected by simply reading a document aloud...over and over again.
Hopefully this blog post is helpful to my writers out there (especially those who edit their own work and don't have a personal or professional editor). The goal in writing is to make the reading experience good for readers; therefore, learning how to edit is a way to provide a good reading experience for readers. Let’s face it, English is the global language. Whether it’s your first or second language, understanding the English language is a skill set and commodity to have. Because English is so highly regarded, why not master it?! The quickest way to master the English language, in my opinion, is to fully understand the basics of grammar and the rules of writing mechanics.
Keep in mind, English is ever-changing. A grammar and/or writing mechanics rule from decades ago may not be the same rule now.
Be brave, writers!