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Welcome to the blog of Deana Driver of DriverWorks Ink, a book publishing company based in Saskatchewan, Canada.
We publish stories of inspiring, fascinating Prairie people and unsung Canadian heroes - written by
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Friday, July 13, 2012

Pobody's Nerfect #2

Here is my second post on some common errors made by writers (including this writer):

- Incorrect use of words:
  • 'Was' and 'were'. eg - Instead of 'If I were to do this', the proper phrase should be 'If I was to do this.' It should be I was and We were.
  • 'Who' and 'That'. eg - Instead of 'We spoke to the teacher that gave us the assignment', the proper word relating back to the teacher should be'who'. Persons are a 'who' and inanimate objects are a 'that'. You would not say 'we went to the school who was in our neighbourhoud', would you? (Please say, 'No! Of course I wouldn't!')
  • 'Who' and 'whom'. This is a rule that I and many others have not mastered. I have a tendency to rewrite the sentence or eliminate the phrase altogether if I am unsure - which follows a rule I learned in Journalism classes many years ago: "If in doubt, leave it out." The simplest explanations for 'whom' versus 'who' I found were on Yahoo Answers:
    "Who" and "whoever" should be used as a subject; "whom" and "whomever" should be used as objects of prepositions.
    Use 'who' where you would use 'he' or 'she' and 'whom' where you would use 'him' or 'her'. It's quite a bit more complicated than that, though... Check out this page to see if it helps you.
- Consistency is important. I can't stress this enough. For example:
  •  If you're going to have one character in your story refer to a friend by his nickname only, keep that style throughout the whole story - unless the name changes for effect such as when the person is yelling at him in fear or is angry at him.
  • If the fictional character has blue eyes and wavy blonde hair at the start of the story, she'd better have the same characteristics throughout, unless colouring has been added to either part and that has also been mentioned in the story.
  • Check and re-check your dates. A person can't be born in 1980 and be 15 years old in a scene that happens in 1992.
Now - get back to your writing...

Canola (formerly known as rapeseed) ripening in a Saskatchewan field

See Pobody's Nerfect #3.

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