Today is Day 17 in the series, 31 Days of Writing Tips. Today’s writing prompt is: CONSISTENT

This series is in conjunction with 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes, with each post written in five minutes flat.

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In my work as a copy editor, I often find inconsistencies that could be avoided.

For example, some subheadings in a manuscript might have the first letter of each word capitalized, while some might only capitalize the first letter of the first word.

In faith-based manuscripts, the pronouns for God (e.g. He, His, Him) might be capitalized sometimes, but not always.

If you’re looking to improve your work or practice careful self-editing techniques, one way to do this is to focus on one specific aspect of your work at a time to make sure each occurrence of that issue is consistent with the others.

With the example of the subheadings I mentioned above, I would scan through a whole manuscript and just check the capitalization of subheadings at that time, and nothing else. The next time I go through it, I might check all of the pronouns for God to make sure they’re all capitalized in the same way.

When you focus on smaller issues at a time, it’s easier to catch the inconsistencies.

Often there might not be one “right way” of doing it, you just need to make sure that whatever way you decide to use, it’s consistent throughout your work.

It might also help to ask a friend or colleague to read through and look for a specific issue as well, since a neutral source will be more likely to pick up on inconsistencies.


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