A friend of mine, Jill, came to me a couple of weeks ago to ask me for help. She was in the midst of planning her parents\' 50th wedding anniversary. This is an event that should have been a joy to plan; her parents have been together for 50 years, and from what I can tell, they are still very much in love. It doesn\'t get much better than that. Anyway, Jill was in a harried state because the party was less than two weeks away and she felt like she didn\'t have a good enough handle on the party. I sat her down and asked her explain to me what she had accomplished so far. She proceeded to pull out a handful of Post_It Notes from her purse, and she dumped the wad on the table we were sitting at. \"What is this,\" I asked her. \"These notes have the stuff I\'ve been working on for the party,\" she replied. I remember looking at Jill, then looking at the pile of scrap paper that was her parents\' 50th anniversary party plan, and then shaking my head. This is an extreme case, but you\'d be surprised how unorganized people can be when it comes to preparing for important events.
Are there \'talking marks\' around words that people say? When I read my writing, do I have a comma or a full stop when I pause? Is it neatly written? The next two deal with helping to make the reading of your writing more interesting and meaningful. Do I have sentences that begin with \'And\', \'Then\' or \'But\'? These words did not improve your writing. Do I have interesting sentence beginnings? Have you used phrases containing adjectives and adverbs to help add interest to your writing?