Today I want to talk about exactness in writing. Often similar sounding words convey very different meanings such as detract and distract or refers and reverts. You absolutely cannot depend on your word processing software to point out the mistakes. If you aren’t sure of the definition, look it up and save being caught out later.
Using specific words rather than abstract ones will also help to make what you say more precise. A bunch of people can be replaced by six or seven people. Likewise, short stories is better than writing. These are but two examples to clarify what you want to say. Being more precise will also leave a better impression on those who read your work.
The proper use of similes and metaphors can also strengthen your work. Knowing what is a simile and what is a metaphor will help. A simile uses the words like or as to indicate a direct comparison whereas those are dropped when using a metaphor because a metaphor is an implied comparison of dissimilar things. These examples might help:
Her perfume was like a breath of fresh air. (simile)
The world is your oyster. (metaphor).
It never hurts to browse through a good instructional book on writing. I have relied on the help of the Harbrace College Handbook for Canadian Writers. You may find a different book just as useful. Keep a reference source close by and you will always be able to answer the question How is your grammar?