There are some mistakes editors see so often that they’ve become sore spots, things they simply think writers ought to take the time to overcome. Every single one of them is something I’ve done at one time or another, so I’m not saying these mistakes are deal breakers or will keep you from ever being published, but they are so common that they’re worth making their correction part of every single revision. So here are five small things that can make a big impression of the wrong kind if you do them regularly.

Make note of your characters’ names and how to spell them. It seems an unlikely mistake but I honestly cannot count the number of times I’ve seen writers forget how they were spelling a character’s name (and I’ve done it myself). A character named Rachel will suddenly become Rachael. A character called Bill through half the story will suddenly be called Will or Billy. A similar mistake to forgetting the character’s name, is when we change the character’s name but miss a few instances of the old name. So a character will be named Xavier, except when he’s being call Phillip (this often happens when the character was originally named Philip and then the writer decided on the more exotic “Xavier” so a quick search and replace changed all the Philip references to Xavier, but unfortunately it left behind all the times the writer accidentally spelled the name with an extra l.)

Listen to the full episode to catch four more details you should be sweating over with each submission.

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