This particular post is for myself – a ‘note to self’, so to say – as it’s the little things – the trifles – that I so often overlook while writing.
Calling these ‘trifles’ is in itself a mistake, as it’s these little things that really matter a lot to our writing, but to which we often fail to give due importance.
I learnt about these over the years. Still am learning, thanks to some really helpful, caring friends I made over the years.
So, without further ado, let’s look at these little BIG things, shall we?
Using ‘rich’ words:
Desist from using words you never use while speaking. Especially ‘rich’ words that you may think will make your post shine. I often did it in the initial days of my blogging, until my friend pointed it out to me and told me it made my posts seem artificial.
We often eat up our ‘articles’ (a,an,the), which can really make a lot of difference to our sentences.
For e.g. “My post is in mess.”
“My post is in a mess.”
See the difference the a does to the sentence?
‘You’re’, ‘your‘, also get mixed up, as do ‘It’s‘ and ‘its‘. Little things we tend to overlook in our hurry to finish our post.
Using too many adjectives or adverbs –
“He rushed to her side, quickly.”
The adverb ‘quickly’ is unnecessary here. He rushed, didn’t he?
Grammarly is the place to visit. It helps in polishing our Grammar and presenting crisper posts.
My friend, Pawan Hegde, often points out the number of cliches in my posts and urges me to be original instead of using these overused phrases, which lack originality. ‘Deafening silence/ raining cats and dogs/ time heals all wounds’ and so many more are all cliches, which we ought to quit using.
Using either too many commas, or no commas, or commas in the wrong places. Using the semi colon instead of the comma; usage of the colon, the ellipsis (the three dots I am so crazy about!), the dash (the en dash and the em dash which I often tend to forget about), all of these need to be worked upon with care.
Do visit this link for more information on punctuation marks. These are the tiny things that really make a huge difference to our writing.
Okay, typos happen all the time and these can be ignored. But, to avoid typos, the best thing to do is to read the post aloud. You will discover words you missed, phrases you could do without, as well as any spelling/syntax errors, homophones, homonyms, incorrect words, and much more!
My paragraphs used to be really long earlier. It’s only by observing other bloggers that I discovered that keeping the paragraphs short — 4 to 5 lines — makes the post appealing, and easy on the eyes.
Try reading posts with lengthy paragraphs and compare them with those with shorter ones and notice the difference.
Preview the post:
After you have read and re-read your post and sifted through it thoroughly, click the Preview button to give it a final check. Are the images well placed, the fonts right, the entire look of the post appealing to the eyes of the reader? That little Preview button is there for a purpose. And, I discovered it quite late.
As I said in the beginning, this post is really for my use. Often, I get carried away by the thoughts crowding my mind and ignore these trifles, and upon checking the post later, I come across all the errors I could have avoided had I been more careful.
I hope you find this post useful, too. I haven’t gone into the details as I risked making it a really lengthy post and losing out on my readers.
Maybe I will do a detailed post some other time, after I get the approval from a Grammar Nazi!
If you come across any errors, mistakes in my writing, or the information given, do point it out to me. I welcome your suggestions.
My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge is all about my blog, Metanoia, and my blogging journey from the time I started, 5 years ago. The lessons I learnt, the tips and tricks I picked up from fellow bloggers and the guidelines I could have used back when I began.