Thursday, July 3, 2014

Four Tips to Immediately Improve Your Writing

Fresh Eyes Proofing . Every Author needs fresh eyes

The Gift of Grammar:
Four Tips to Immediately Improve YOUR Writing
from Fresh Eyes Proofing

by Sandy Penny, Fresh Eyes Proofing

For you authors who want to make sure your manuscript is clean and public ready, I've chosen a few tips to help you as you write. Just these few changes will greatly improve your book's readability and impact on your readers.

1. Write in present tense as much as possible. 

It keeps the reader immersed in the action. Past tense turns your reader into a spectator instead of a participant. It distances them from the action.

Present Tense Example: Jane slowly walks toward the door. It pops open as her hand touches the doorknob.
Past Tense Example: Jane slowly walked toward the door, and it popped open as her hand touched the doorknob.

Which one makes you feel the tension and experience the surprise with the character?

2. Write in active voice as much as possible. 

If you use lots of "ing" words, you're not in active voice. You are in passive voice. Active voice directs and moves the emotions and action for the reader.

Active Voice Example: Live your best life now. Create a dynamic successful future.

Passive Voice Example: Living your best life now allows you to create a dynamic successful future.

The more you use active voice, the more your reader responds to your words and wants to know more. Passive voice makes your reader question what you say.

3. Know when to break sentences.

Long, run-on sentences tend to make the reader lose interest in what you are saying, and stop paying attention to your words, and maybe even put the book down. (See what I mean?)

Short sentences inform the reader and stop. That gives the reader time to process each idea. It also creates a desire to hear more. You want to write "unputdownable" books (a concept/word coined by Mike Wells, a master of the psychological thriller cliffhanger).

4. Global search your document for the word "that." Ask yourself if you need it.


This was the final interview for the “cook and housekeeper” position that he had advertised. (You don't need that.)

She supposed that it hadn’t been in the cards for her...but now? (You don't need that.)

His confidence and inner strength emanated from him in waves that were almost palpable.
Needs a rewrite: His confidence and inner strength emanate from him in almost palpable waves. 

He could see that blood was swirling out from his head.  
He could see blood swirling from his head.

There are many other tips and tricks proofreaders notice to help improve your writing without changing your style or personal voice. 

I hope these are helpful for you. Thanks for reading.

"If it needs to persuade, inspire, create curiosity or ignite action, 
every word is important." ~ Sandy Penny

Get that Book Out of Your Head in into the Market!!

If you're crazy for books and can't stop reading, try a free month of Kindle Unlimited. You'll be hooked. I know I was.

Every Author needs Fresh Eyes. If you have a novel that needs final proofing, click the pic.
Link to Fresh Eyes Proofing by Sandy Penny

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Every Author Needs FRESH EYES!

Every Author needs FRESH EYES! 

by Sandy Penny, Founder of and

Even if you have an editor and several early readers, if they have looked at the book more than once, you need  FRESH EYES.

I am the Founder of Sweet Mystery Books. My love of reading, mysteries and the written word inspired me to build the Sweet Mystery Books site to help independent authors have a nice platform on which to build success. After reading huge numbers of self-published novels (and traditionally published ones) I decided to offer my PROOFING SKILLS for your self-published mystery novels. Every week as I read for Sweet Mystery Books, typos, grammatical errors and wrong words jump out at me like a Jack-in-the-Box. Every book has some errors, and most from 20 to 100. I hate to see authors shoot themselves in the foot by not having a good final proofing.

I find missing words, bad usage, confusing grammar, typos, misspellings, and other common mistakes that a spell checker or grammar checker won't catch. I feel bad for authors who have spent all that time and effort to publish a digital or on-demand book only to find they have large numbers of embarrassing errors in their finished product. And, people who are avid readers usually notice this and are put off by it.

I am not attached to being your proofreader, but for goodness sake, choose someone new and good to do a final read when you think you're ready to publish. I promise you'll be surprised by how much was missed.

Even if you had an editor and several readers, if they have looked at the book more than once, you need FRESH EYES.

To work with me, all you have to do is choose the length of your novel, click the pay button and use Paypal or a credit card, and send your digital manuscript to, Kindle preferred, but a Microsoft Word doc or PDF is fine. I promise a quick turnaround

No paper manuscripts, please. I'm all digital. Quick turnaround guaranteed. Please include your preferred contact information including a phone number.