Cheat Sheet, Grammar Assistant

Authors… Do you get confused with certain words? Not sure whether it’s an effect or affect? Read on… This post is all about commonly misspelled words, confused definitions, and homophones. I hope it helps!

Happy hump day!

Today I’m talking about some of the most common mishaps I find in the majority of manuscripts I am sent.

With every manuscript I open, I carry out some basic housekeeping before I start the actual editing. This includes checking for some of the most commonly misspelled words and I have a list of these printed out which I keep to hand. Whether a debut author or one with twenty books behind them, these confusions still appear.

It’s with this in mind that I thought I’d create you a cheat sheet to print out and keep to hand.

I have included some of the most commonly misspelled words, words whose definitions are often, and easily, confused, and some of the most common homophone (words which sound the same but which have different meanings and/or spellings) mishaps.

You can download the PDF here: Creating Perfection ~ Grammar Assistant

Do you have any tips and tricks for remembering the spelling of tricky words? One of mine is for necessary… one Coffee and two Sugars…

Let me know in the comments below if you struggle with any of these.

Have a super day and I do hope this helps 🙂

Emma x

Author Advice, Editing Assistance, Grammar Assistant, Punctuation

#GrammarAssistant #comparative and #superlative forms #AuthorAdvice #Grammar #CreatingPerfection

In today’s article I’m going to talk about comparative and superlative forms.

We use the comparative and superlative forms of adverbs and adjectives to compare people, things, states, and actions in writing.

Adjectives and adverbs have three forms: the positive, the comparative, and the superlative.


Positive Comparative Superlative
Green Greener Greenest
Tall Taller Tallest
Joyful More joyful Most joyful


Positive Comparative Superlative
Fast Faster Fastest
Joyfully More joyfully Most joyfully
Far Further Furthest

Comparative form

The comparative form is used to compare one person, thing, action, or state to another:

Daisies are prettier than roses.

My sister is taller than me.

Our house is noisier than the library.

Superlative form

The superlative form is used to compare one thing to ALL the others in the same category:

This road is the quietest.

My bag is the heaviest.

My rose is the prettiest.

The comparative and superlative are formed differently depending on the word’s positive form:

  • Usually we add the suffixes -er and -est: warm / warmer / warmest
  • When the adjective ends in -e we drop it and add -er and -est: large / larger / largest
  • When the adjective ends in one consonant, double it before adding -er and -est: red / redder / reddest
  • When the adjective ends in -y change it to –i and add -er and -est: juicy / juicier / juiciest
  • If an adverb ends in -ly usually add the words more (comparative form) and most (superlative form): slow / more slowly / most slowly; lazily / most lazily / most lazily
  • Some adjectives use more for the comparative form and most for the superlative: famous / more famous / most famous
  • Some comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs are irregular: bad / worse / worst; much / more / most; well / better / best

Rules for forming comparatives 

  • One-syllable words form the comparative by adding -er and -est: brave / braver / bravest; small / smaller / smallest; dark / darker / darkest
  • Two-syllable words that end in -y, -le, and -er form the comparative by adding -er and -est: pretty / prettier / prettiest; happy / happier / happiest; noble / nobler / noblest; clever / cleverer / cleverest
  • Words of more than two syllables form the comparative with more and most: beautiful / more beautiful / most beautiful; resonant / more resonant / most resonant
  • Past participles used as adjectives form the comparative with more and most: crooked / broken / damaged / defeated
  • Predicate adjectives (adjectives used to describe the subject of a sentence) form the comparative with more and most: afraid / mute / certain / alone / silent
    Ex. She is afraid / He is more afraid / They are the most afraid of them all

Following these guidelines should help stop abominations like more pretty or beautifuler from making their way into your writing!

And, as always, if in doubt, look up the preferred inflected forms in the dictionary, I find the Oxford English Dictionary Online to be a wonderful resource.

Happy writing!


Author Advice, Editing Assistance, Grammar Assistant, Manuscript, Publication Ready, Punctuation

#Punctuation #Apostrophe use in #fiction #writing #amwriting #amediting #CreatingPerfection

One of the most commonly misused punctuation marks is the apostrophe.

In this article I’ll be talking about, and sharing examples of, how to correctly use one.


In writing, we use ‘s to show possession after singular nouns and indefinite pronouns:

the girl’s hair the man’s beard anyone’s guess

For plural nouns ending in s, we just add the apostrophe:

the neighbours’ cat

And we punctuate time periods in the same way:

the days’ takings three weeks’ time

For compounds and of phrases, use ‘s after the last noun:

my mother-in-law’s cake the Queen of England’s swans

The double possessive making use of both of and ‘s can be used with nouns and pronouns:

a play of Shakespeare’s that car of her father’s

But not with buildings or companies:

a friend of the Smiling Mule the window of the hotel

This one’s a little tricky to remember but we don’t use an apostrophe for the possessive its (belonging to it) but we do for the it contractions (it is / it has):

the dog ate its bone it’s too warm today


The apostrophe is also used to indicate a missing letter or letters from a word. The apostrophe should ‘face’ the way the missing letters should be:

how you doin’ just you wait ’til


The apostrophe is NOT used for plurals. Nor is it used for the following:

Decades: 1960s / 60s

Names: keeping up with the Joneses / sixteen Hail Marys

Abbreviations: CDs / ABCs / DVDs

Other: dos and don’ts

These are just a few of the basics and if you learn these rules, you’ll be in a much better position to polish your own manuscript while going through your edits.

I follow the Oxford Style Guide and you can find more information in New Hart’s Rules.

Best of luck, have a great day, and keep writing!

Author Advice, Case Study, Editing Assistance, Grammar Assistant, Publication, Publication Ready, Self-Publishing Author Case Study

#SelfPublished #Author Val Portelli aka Voinks shares her #publishing journey today … #IndieAuthor #AmWriting #AmEditing #Writing

I am delighted to welcome Val Portelli to Creating Perfection today as she shares her self-publishing journey with us all …

Who are you and when did your journey begin?

Hello everyone. I’m Val Portelli, also known as Voinks. I live in London UK, and my journey began about five or six years ago. Although I’ve always loved writing, life got in the way until an accident left me housebound and put a stop to my normal manic life. The calamity turned into a rainbow, as it gave me time to start chasing the pot of gold and become an author.

Tell us about where you are on your self-publishing journey right now in terms of books publish, where you publish etc.

With two published novels behind me, I felt I had learnt enough to attempt self-publishing my third. Inspired by an Amazon competition I entered and met the deadline. (I didn’t win.) With the contracts on my first two books expiring, I’m hoping to self-publish them later this year, under my own publishing imprint. It’s a bit scary writing that, but with the ambition now in public view, it’s also motivation for me to get on and do it! I plan to self-publish my fourth novel by the spring and collaborate in a joint venture for a compilation of short stories, to be released in the early summer.

Why did you choose to self-publish?

I realised that the publishing industry was changing drastically, and it was an opportunity to be pursued. Rather than wasting time waiting for rejection letters, I could concentrate on writing and actually making my books available. It was also a reason to resign from the ‘Procrastinators are us’ club.

What’s the best thing about self-publishing?

The support of other Indie authors, bloggers and the camaraderie of the community.

And the worst?

Marketing. Many writers are by definition introverts, so to have to shout to strangers ‘Look at my books, aren’t they wonderful?’ is quite a culture shock. Having said that, I now realise that even with traditional publishing, authors are expected to do a lot of their own marketing.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known before you published your first book?

The amount of help, advice, and information actually available from blog sites, social media writers’ groups, and the Internet generally. I knew nothing when I first started out, but it’s a constantly changing market so it’s good to try and keep up to date.

If you could change one thing about your self-publishing journey, what would it be and why?

I would have been better prepared, but then I might never have taken those first steps.

Do you have any advice for those who might be looking in to self-publishing?

Don’t be put off by how much is involved, but don’t type The End and think it’s done. That’s just the start of your journey. In some ways you will be an ambassador for self-published authors, so try to ensure your manuscript isn’t full of errors and grammatical mistakes. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses; learn yours and take help and advice when it’s needed. Join the groups, ask the ‘daft’ questions, read up all you can, but don’t let it stop you writing.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Read everything you can, both in and out of your own genre and natural comfort zone. It can help you identify what fans of your own work will enjoy or find irritating. Build up relationships with fellow authors you trust and ask for their honest feedback. Buy plenty of tissues for the knock-back days, enjoy your own successes, however small, and help celebrate the achievements of others. Never give up; leave the spiders to design their cobwebs if your writing is flowing. Like you, their time will come. Most of all, enjoy the experience!

Thank you for sharing your journey with my followers, Val! Some fantastic advice here!

You can keep up with all Voinks’ news by following their social media accounts:

Amazon author link and author profile

Facebook author page

Web site

Contact e-mail for paperback availability, questions, and suggestions

If you’re a self-published author and would like to share your journey with my followers, please click HERE to find the questions.

Voinks’ latest book, Spirit of Technology is out now, here’s the blurb …

A message from a stranger.
A modern day woman responds to an e-mail from an unknown contact. Against her better judgement she continues the correspondence with a man who tells her he was born in the 19th century.
Despite feeling an initial attraction, her concerns grow when he reveals secret details of her personal life.
Undecided whether it’s a friend winding her up, and worried it could be a stalker, the truth is the last thing she expects.

About the author …

The author’s pen name Voinks began many years ago. It started as a joke when a friend bought a holiday home abroad, then gradually spread through the family, so it was an obvious choice when her first book was published.

Despite receiving her first rejection letter aged nine from some lovely people at a well-known Women’s magazine, she continued writing intermittently until a freak accident left her housebound and going stir crazy.

To save her sanity she completed and had published her first full length novel. This was followed by a second traditionally published book before deciding self-publishing was the way to go. In between writing her longest novel to date at over 100,000 words, she publishes weekly stories for her Facebook author page and web site.

She writes in various genres, although her short stories normally include her trademark twist of ‘Quirky.’ From having too many hours in the day, she is now actively seeking out a planet with forty-eight-hour days, to have time to fit in all the stories waiting to be told.

She is always delighted to receive reviews, as they help pay for food for the Unicorns she breeds in her spare time.