They’ve been overdue a make-over for a while, so I’m happy to finally unveil the brand new ‘Mistakes Writers Make’ covers!
They feature in the background a repeating list of synonyms for ‘mistake’ and ‘writing mistakes’, including a number of fanciful neologisms.
This was in part inspired by Kate Bush’s atmospheric track 50 Words For Snow, in which she asks and repeatedly presses Stephen Fry to come up with a half-ton supply of creative synonyms for the frozen white stuff. Some of the words and expressions are lyrical, some funny, some weird, some what-the-proverbial, and while listening you can’t help yourself from inventing your own. I once saw an interview with Fry in which he revealed Bush was still rewriting the Snow-words even as he was settling down at the studio for recording!
I am far less of a perfectionist. Still, my final collection of writerly errors included efforts such as idiomaflaw, typum terribulum and one I’m particularly pleased with — drunk and disworderly — though I don’t think even that trumps the quality of Bush’s boomerangablanca.
Since part of the fun is, I hope, in discovering all these wacky words and terms for yourself, I shan’t spoil it for you by revealing any more … of either Bush’s or mine!
The original texts also featured a few grim mistakes I’d let slip through as well as some dated references. All required correction and updating, so I bit the bullet and brought some of the ‘Mistakes’ up to speed too — not remotely enough to merit a repurchase if you have the previous editions, but I hope resulting in a more pleasurable reading and learning experience for new budding writers who discover the books for the first time.
I am also considering commissioning some (experienced) writers to add to the ‘Mistakes Writers Make’ collection. Think you can write 50 Mistakes Travel Writers Make? Or 50 Mistakes Sports Writers Make? Or some other variation? Then please do drop me an email through my website here.