Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Grammatically Yours - Oh, For the Love of Homonyms

Witch word is the rite word?

Let me try that again.

Which word is the right word?

It can be very easy to substitute a word that sounds the same (but is spelled differently) for the word you actually want to use. It happens. Everyone does it.

For writers, we obviously don’t want to make these mistakes in our manuscripts (that’s why we edit!!!). But there is another place that we really don't want to do this...

In our query letters.

After spending months or even years writing a novel then revising and editing it, don’t lose your focus when it is time to query. It’s easy to get excited and it’s easy to rush.


Edit that query letter just like you did your manuscript. If you don’t, you might make mistakes like these tweeted by Kate McKean, literary agent with Morhaim Literary Agency:

So far today, I’ve read about a “pen’s name” (i.e. pseudonym) and a novel that’s “fast paste.” Proofread those queries, folks. #pubtip (link)

This other query I read for a fast paste novel features a main character with a sorted past. At least he’s organized. (link)

Yep. Homonyms.

Don’t be unintentionally funny, people. Be hyper-aware of what you are writing.

Have you ever had homonym trouble? Do you have any stories to share? Have you seen any unintentional funnies?


  1. A couple mins ago while chatting with a beta:

    "plot whole"

    Ohhhh homonyms.

  2. Taryn - Haha. Those homonyms..... :)

    Thanks for stopping by!