tagged with: writing career


Reading a short story is a good way to keep up with your reading without having to sacrifice hours or days of your time to finishing a book. Some short stories have as much literary merit as full-length books. In fact, many famous writers either began their writing career with short stories or continued to write short stories while working on their books. Some of these famous writers are: F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, J D Salinger, V S Naipaul, Mark Twain, Joyce Carol Oates, William Faulkner, and many others.

I also began my writing career with short stories, and my first published work was in the Broward Community College magazine where I was a student. The title of that story is A Pair of Blue Skates. I will see if I can find it somewhere. If not, I will try to rewrite it and republish it for you to see.

So why am I telling you all this? Today is Read A Short Story Day, and for the occasion, Perry Kirkpatrick has organized a Short Story Day, which runs from Nov 1 – Nov 4, where you can download short stories by different authors in a variety of genres, all free of charge for your reading pleasure. The title of my story is The Unwelcome Wedding Guest. Go to Read A Short Story Daydownload your copy and sign up for my newsletter. After you have read it, please come back here and share your thoughts with us.

One of my pet peeves as a writer (or a reader for that matter) is coming across grammatical errors, commonly misused words and misspelled words. I am always amazed at the number of  these I find almost everyday on the internet, and sometimes even in print. And these are just the basics. There are others such as clumsy sentence structure, mixed tenses and wordiness that make me tear my hair. Nowadays, there is a trend to what I call casual writing that we didn’t see three or four decades ago.  Using a preposition at the end of a sentence is acceptable in most instances, as is the use of a conjunction at the beginning of a sentence. But there are some forms of sloppiness that are just, well, sloppy, and can mar your chances of having a successful writing career.

Here are some examples of grammatical errors that I collected over a period of time:

I am grateful that he have chosen to visit me. The error here is a glaring dis-agreement of subject and verb, which I’m sure the writer could have avoided if he had proofread his work.

It convicts us of specific actions or attitudes that needs to be confessed. Here we have two plural subjects connected by or. Since they are plural, they require a plural verb.

Your about to learn 10 mistakes the average person makes. This is a common one where the possessive adjective “your” is used in place of the contraction “you’re” which means you are.

Its time for my afternoon nap. Another misuse of the possessive adjective. This time “its” is used in place of “it’s” which means it is.

Each of you have something to offer the world. This is one that trips a lot of people up. Here’s the rule: The pronouns each, everyone, every one, everybody, anyone, anybody, someone, and somebody are singular and require singular verbs.  Therefore this sentence should read, Each of you has something to offer the world.

I was loosing interest in those markets. Loosing comes from the verb loose which means to untie or release. What the writer obviously meant here is losing, which means to fail to keep or to maintain.

Our elderly are always effected most at these times. Effected is a convolution of the noun “effect”. Here it is being used as a verb, which in this case should be “affected.” This is a commonly misused word and brands the user as an amateur.

So there you have them. Some of the most common grammatical errors that can kill your writing and your credibility as a writer. There are many good articles online that can help you improve your writing, or if you want to have your own reference you may purchase the book below from Amazon.com. It is small enough to take with you to the library or to keep near your computer. I have found it to be of invaluable help, and I’m sure you will too.