Disclaimer: Like everyone else, I'm not perfect, and make mistakes from time to time. This is just a short guide to help others who are severely handicapped in the writing department. I suppose it could be read as entertainment for more experienced authors. It contains a witty element, if I do say so myself.
As a burgeoning writer, I always notice spelling and grammar, especially when it's being used incorrectly. My friends hate me for it, but it's a part of who I am and I'll never stop! Mwahaha. So I've been noticing that on FictionPress and two other sites I post work on, budding authors tend to make a lot of juvenile mistakes. This is a short guide to help on the most common I've seen.
W A R N I N G
If you are overly sensitive at times or just sensitive in general, you should probably NOT read any further.
Let us look at homophones. Homophones are words that sound alike when spoken out loud, but have different spellings and totally different meanings from each other.
The word there.
There: this version SPECIFIES A FUCKING LOCATION.
Their: this one SHOWS FUCKING POSSESSION.
They're: this is a FUCKING CONTRACTION. THEY ARE.
THEY'RE going in THEIR car over THERE.
The word were.
Were: this is the PAST FUCKING TENSE OF "ARE."
We're: this is ANOTHER FUCKING CONTRACTION. WE ARE.
Wear: this isn't even close to the other two because it's a FUCKING VERB.
We WERE going to WEAR our pajamas to the movies but we heard there are some hot ass guys there so we're dressing up.
The word your.
Your: this shows FUCKING POSSESSION.
You're: a third FUCKING CONTRACTION. YOU ARE.
YOU'RE going to get YOUR ass beat if you don't learn these homophones.
The word than.
Than: this is a FUCKING COMPARISON.
Then: this specifies A POINT IN FUCKING TIME.
I had a better time THAN Sarah when we went to the concert, went out for milkshakes, and THEN went back home.
The word lose.
Lose: to MISPLACE A FUCKING OBJECT.
Loose: this means NOT FUCKING TIGHT ENOUGH.
I am going to LOSE my pants on the dance floor because they are too LOOSE.
The word its.
Its: this word SHOWS FUCKING POSSESSION.
It's: this is ANOTHER FUCKING CONTRACTION. IT IS.
The pool lost ITS purpose because IT'S too cold.
The word weather.
Weather: what it is FUCKING LIKE OUTSIDE.
Whether: this LEADS UP TO A FUCKING CHOICE.
In this WEATHER, I don't know WHETHER it would be a good idea to wear my hula skirt.
The word to.
To: this IS A VERB.
Two: this is A FUCKING NUMBER.
Too: this is a FUCKING COMPARISON.
The TWO girls were going TO the store, and Becca decided she wanted to go, TOO.
Got it? Good.
Let us look at the commonly misspelled words I tend to see.
Not "defiantly." To be defiant is to go against another's orders.
FUCKING D E F I N I T E L Y.
FUCKING W E I R D
Let us look at some rules of thumb.
"A lot" IS TWO FUCKING WORDS.
Setting up dialogue FUCKING GOES LIKE THIS: quotation mark, words, comma/exclamation/question mark/period, second quotation mark, So-and-so said (unless the ending is a period). See:
"Words," So-and-so said.
"Words!" So-and-so said.
"Words?" So-and-so said.
Use adverbs (words ending in –ly) sparingly. Haha. Irony.
Also, WATCH YOUR FUCKING VERB TENSES.
Let us look at comma placement.
Commas always go BEFORE AND FUCKING AFTER A NAME IN THE MIDDLE OF A SENTENCE.
Ex: The cheerleader, Britney Gallagher, was not known for being the most respectable young lady.
Commas go AFTER AN INTRODUCTORY FUCKING ELEMENT AT THE BEGINNING OF A SENTENCE.
Ex: Oh, don't look at me like that.
Matt, are you sure that's a good idea?
God, you're stupid.
Please, spare me the explicit details.
You get the idea.
Commas are also needed with NONRESTRICTIVE FUCKING ELEMENTS.
Ex: Mary, who was definitely not the sharpest knife in the drawer, asked if Cuba was a state.
And for Christ sake people, stop it with the run-on sentences. That's second grade shit. No, but seriously, faulty comma placements (or lack of placement totally) can interrupt your flow severely and turn someone off to an otherwise well-written piece of work.
Okey okey, guys, that's all I can think of off the top of my head. But for real: writing can be a great release, but it isn't all fun and games. There's a structured part to it, and if it's something you want to pursue professionally, you need to study up!
Good luck & happy writing to all!