The Writer’s Toolbox – My Editor Said to Me…

On the first day of Christmas, my editor said to me
I don’t think you quite meant literally.

On the second day of Christmas, my editor said to me
It’s “too much”?use the adverb
And I don’t think you quite meant literally.

On the third day of Christmas, my editor said to me
Put commas inside quote marks
“Too much” takes the adverb
And I don’t think you quite meant literally.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my editor said to me
Please go check your sources
Commas inside quotes
“Too much” takes the adverb
And I don’t think you quite meant literally.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my editor said to me
Ending with a preposition‘s fine!
Please go check your sources
Commas inside quotes
“Too much” takes the adverb
And I don’t think you quite meant literally.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my editor said to me
There’s no such word as “alright”
Ending with a preposition’s fine!
Please go check your sources
Commas inside quotes
“Too much” takes the adverb
And I don’t think you quite meant literally.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my editor said to me
Capitalize “mom” when you talk to her
No such word as “alright”
Etc.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my editor said to me
Embrace those split infinitives
Capitalize “mom” when you talk to her
Etc.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my editor said to me
“You’re” stands for “you are
Embrace those split infinitives
Etc.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my editor said to me
Watch your plural possessives
“You’re” stands for “you are”
Etc.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my editor said to me
You “lay” something but “lie down
Watch your plural possessives
Etc.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my editor said to me
Rules create understanding
“Lay” something but “lie down”
Watch your plural possessives
“You’re” stands for “you are”
Embrace those split infinitives
Capitalize “mom” when you talk to her
No such word as “alright”
Ending with a preposition’s fine!
Please go check your sources
Commas inside quotes
“Too much” takes the adverb
And I don’t think you quite meant literally.

Christina M. Frey is a book editor, literary coach, and lover of great writing. For more tips and techniques for your toolbox, follow her on Twitter (@turntopage2) or visit her blog.

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