If you’re a freelance writer, I think you’ll be interested
in the comments of seasoned magazine editors that we recently posted online
(click here). As part of my article in the November 2010 issue of The Writer titled “25 tips
to sharpen your writing,” I asked the editors to summarize, for our Web site,
the most common errors they’ve seen in manuscripts.
Read through their advice and I think you’ll pick up some
good tips on mistakes to avoid.
Besides our publisher and longtime editor, Elfrieda Abbe,
our lineup of experts includes Richard Snow, well known for his longtime
service at American Heritage; Corey S. Powell, editor-in-chief of Discover;
Kurt Chandler, senior editor of Milwaukee Magazine; and Errol Laborde, editor
of New Orleans Magazine and Louisiana Life Magazine.
Here’s a little flavor of their advice, from Snow:
“Do not say that the reader is about to encounter something ‘astounding’
or ‘almost unbelievable.’ That’s like prefacing a joke by announcing, ‘This is
hilarious’--the listener will always put up his guard: ‘I'll be the judge of
--Ron Kovach, senior editor, The
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