Blog Squadron - Mission #3: Writing Style and Editing Tips

Welcome back to the third mission of Blog Squadron! In this mission we are talking all about our various writing styles, as well as how we edit our posts and try avoid the dreaded typos!

Blogmatis Personae

(Who we are and where you can find us!)

Matt ApplebeeFar, Far Away Radio.com

Jessie StardustTatooineDreams.com (Personal Blog, mostly Star Wars flavored) and PassionatelyCasual.com (Star Wars:The Old Republic podcast site.)

Patty Hammond: I currently write for my own EverydayFangirl.com and also for The Future Of The ForceStarWars.com and TheBeardedTrio.com.  I have previously wrote for The Cantina Cast and The Detroit News Geek Watch Blog.

Bryan:  I’ve posted on a few blogs along the way, but I’m exclusively on hyperspacepodblast.com nowadays.

Sophie: My personal blog is outerrimreviews.wordpress.com where I am chronicling my journey through the Star Wars Expanded Universe. I also write articles for farfarawayradio.com

Johnamarie MaciasTheWookieeGunner.com

Saf: I write sporadically for ToscheStation.netMakingStarWars.net, and TheWookieeGunner.com. I also write about Star Wars on my own site, NotSafForWork.com.

 

How would you describe your writing style (informative, conversational, persuasive, etc.)?

Matt: I would say that I’m generally pretty conversational persuasive. I like to play a bit with language as I write. I especially love it when I can come up with an extended metaphor to use as my introductory and concluding paragraphs. I guess that’s the English teacher side of me coming out!

Stardust: I have described my blog as my personal answer to TwitLonger. I would say my writing style is conversational, casual, and more musing than trying to persuade. I try to be at least mildly humorous when I can. My pieces are often of the “thinking outloud” variety. I view them as an avenue to give voice to my own inner reflections so that I can understand the thoughts inside my introverted head! I do like to share ideas with others, though-- very much, so my dear hope every time I hit publish is that someone will comment and we can have a great discussion!

Patty: I have a casual style.  I do my best to follow writing style learned through high school and college.  When I do interviews, my goal is to include questions that the interviewee may not have been asked before.  When I write about topics, I do my best to create my articles to be accessible to as many fans as possible.

Bryan:  Is goofy an option? I’d say conversational goofy – very relaxed, somewhat stylized (actually, quite stylized, to be honest…I often wonder if I even make sense to most people). I personally love my style, but would most likely not pass a standardized writing test with any of my posts…

Sophie: I’d say I have quite a laid-back, chatty style coupled with a good dose of melodrama!

Johnamarie: I like to think my writing style is 70 percent informative and 30 percent conversational (while still adhering to most grammatical rules). I’m an intellectually curious person, so I like to go out there and search for information. Not only that, but I like to share that information with others, so when I write, I write to inform myself and my readers. My style is also easy-going because I want the reader to be able to connect with what I’m saying. To be honest, crazy long paragraphs and SAT vocabulary words make my eyes go cross-eyed and writing with bad grammar and spelling make my head hurt. As a result, I try to find a style that provides useful and interesting information in a welcoming and conversational tone.

Saf: Definitely informal/casual/conversational. I can write to any style I need to, but when it comes to hobby writing (so, almost anything Star Wars) I prefer to have a bit more fun with it. I can get pretty sassy in tone, which editors have asked me to tone down in the past. But I just like to have fun with writing! I like to feel like I’m talking with others about Star Wars, rather than talking at them, if that makes any sense at all. I also love humour and puns, so...

 

What processes do you use for revision (i.e. Do you have an editor, are you a grammar superstar, etc.)?

Matt: When I first started writing for Far, Far Away Radio, one of them would look over my posts, but after about the first year, they stopped worrying about it. I like to think that it’s because I’m a grammar savant, but I think it was more likely that there were so few glaring errors, and it sped things up to not have them checking the posts all the time. I’ll also have my wife edit them sometimes. She’s an English teacher too, so it helps to have her as my coach in the corner.

Stardust: What’s revision? Kidding, kind of. I do not have anyone proof my work unless it’s for content if the piece is controversial, which is quite rare in my writing. I may not be a perfect typist-- typos are my greatest enemy-- but I do have a decent handle on spelling, punctuation and syntax. Enough for my level, in any case.

Patty: As someone who edits and QC in my career, I know how important revisions are.  I usually review my own writing before I post to make sure there are no spelling and grammar errors.  If I am working with an editor, like I do for StarWars.com, I always heed the editor’s advice because they know their audience and what they are looking for way more than I do.

Bryan:  Oh, I use myself…it works about 75% of the time. I’m fairly fast and loose with grammar, etc., and, frankly, I’m a poor speller, so if not for the red underlines when I goof up, my posts would likely be rife with what I like to call “mental typos.”

Sophie: I am my own editor and harshest critic! There are several articles which have been drafted then thrown into the proverbial trash compactor because they haven’t made the cut for me! I will potter in and out of a draft blog post for a couple of weeks before it is completed finalised and ready to be published. I tend to have a rough draft, which starts off as bullet points. These bullet points then get fleshed out and I will draft an introduction and a conclusion. I’ll then chop and change the paragraphs and sentence structures until they all flow nicely. The final stage is to go through it word by word to make sure there are no spelling mistakes lurking.

Johnamarie: I wish I could say I’m a grammar superstar, but there are many times when mistakes slip past me. As mentioned before, I’m only one person, so I tend to read over my work several times before publishing. There are instances when I tend to reach out to a friend and have them revise a draft. I do this mostly when I want to make sure that what I wrote makes sense. For the majority of the time, though, I rely on my own eyes and hope for the best!

Saf: Considering I write for a living, I’m pretty good at it! But even the best writers need help sometimes. I tend to write out a long initial piece, then go back the next day to revise/edit it down. Some of my sites have editors, or others who’ll look over my pieces, but some don’t. I definitely appreciate when I can have someone to look over my work, because more than once I’ve looked back at an old piece and found a really obvious typo smack-bang in the first sentence. Argh!

 

Thank you for coming along on Mission 3 of Blog Squadron! Don’t forget to buckle up and blast on over to Bryan’s site hyperspacepodblast.com tomorrow, Saturday September 30th  for Mission #4!

If you want to chatter with me online or have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter at @shlawrence12 and use the hashtag #BlogSquadron to follow all the future missions of Blog Squadron!