The Writing Journey

Hot Off The Press :A-Z Basic Editing Tips: A Motivational Guide for Writers By Barbara Joe Williams

Hey there! I’m back with a new book for this Friday. Today is a good one. Not only do I have the pleasure of introducing someone I learn from constantly on social media but it’s a book for writers too! Yep today our Hot Off The Press book is a non fiction/self help aimed helping you with the writing craft.

With out delay, allow me to introduce Barbara Joe Williams , she co authored the book, A-Z Basic Editing Tips: A Motivational Guide for Writers with Felicia S.W. Thomas



Overall, very helpful tips and hints on the writing process. The length is perfect for the writer who needs information, but doesn’t have time to invest hours digging for it in reference books or online. Maybe not a catchall writing reference, but definitely a catch-plenty! Well done . . . Alfred Haynes, aspiring author and beta reader.



In general, you want to avoid abbreviations whenever possible, especially when writing fiction. However, sometimes it is appropriate. Use a period after each letter in an abbreviation, unless the abbreviation serves as the name of organizations or government agencies such as: AFL, AMA, NEA, TWA, etc. If you’re ever in doubt about whether or not to use a period, consult a modern dictionary for updated practices.

Abbreviations should be used with titles before proper nouns.

For example:
It would be inappropriate to write, “She went to a consultation with the Dr.”

It would be appropriate to write, “She went to a consultation with Dr. Smith (or the doctor).”

Abbreviations may be used with dates or numerals, but only when specific dates are given: A.D., B.C., A.M., P.M., and No.
For example:
It would be incorrect to write, “We went to the doctor in the P.M.”

It would be correct to write, “We went to the doctor at 2:00 P.M. yesterday.”

Always spell out personal names and the names of countries, cities, days, months, states, and days of the week. In addition, the following words should be spelled out when writing fiction:

Parts of an address – Avenue, Boulevard, Road, Circle, Court, Lane, Drive, Parkway, Terrace, Street, North, South, East, and West.

Numerals – pounds, feet, yards, ounces, miles per hour, and volume.

Other words that should be spelled out – chapter, company, page, and subject; there are many others; consult a grammar guide.

In nonfiction writing, spell out proper names first with the abbreviation in parentheses next to it.

For example:
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Capital Regional Medical Center (CRMC), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), etc.

However, don’t go back and forth between the spelled-out name and the abbreviation. Also, do not open a sentence with an abbreviation.
All right/alright

Alright is not all right. It is not like the words altogether and already, which have legitimate meanings. Altogether blends “all” and “together” and means totally or taking everything into consideration. Already blends “all” and “ready” and means before, by now, or the time in question.

Alright is a different story. It’s not a real word, but “all” and “right” jammed together. It’s used so much it has practically become acceptable. It is used on television, on billboards, and in many forms of media.

Let’s start a movement to get rid of this word. Avoid using it as much as possible and use the correct form: all right. All right means satisfactory, fairly well, an emphasis on certainty, or expressing or asking for agreement.

For example:
It would be incorrect to write, “Alright, I’m ready to go.”

It would be correct to write, “Are you all right?”

Alright has become the new ain’t. Ain’t is the slang term for “am not” and is usually associated with the Southern or rural vernacular. Ain’t is quaint and has become more than acceptable in fiction writing, but it would be improper in nonfiction.

Alright should not be acceptable in any writing, especially since the word shrinks every day.

You’ve seen alright with the “l” and the “r” dropped in the middle of the word, and now it’s “aight”. In text speak, it’s “ite.” “All right” can’t get any smaller – well, yes it can, by not using it.

About Barbara


Barbara Joe Williams is an Amazon bestselling author of fiction and nonfiction books. She is an independent publisher, and motivational speaker. She founded Amani Publishing, LLC, in 2004. She also co-founded the Tallahassee Authors Network in 2008. Barbara has an A.A. degree in Office Education from Tallahassee Community College, a B.S. in Business Teacher Education from Florida A&M University, and a M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from Florida A&M University.  She currently resides in Tallahassee, Florida, with a husband, a teenage daughter, and a golden retriever.

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