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Jul 06, 2022

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Did you get all the errors? None of them are very complicated, but we tried to put in errors that a spell check wouldn’t catch because these are the sort of errors you need a beta reader for. Here are the ones we put in:

Original text:

“This is good wine.”1 Angbor of Lebennin commented.

Inrahil2 inclined his head in acknowledgement, “Its3 but last years4 crop. We shall have a much better wine this year, with a longer summer.”

“Here’s too5 a fine, long summer an excelent6 crop of cherrie7 wine then,” the young lord of Lossarnach said8

Indeed9“ Aragorn said quietly10 “This shall be one summer that is much looked forward to.”

“It would be nice to be able to ride out all day in the warmth, bath11 in the river, and sleep out in the open, under the stars,” Faramir said, almost wistfully.

“It would be if one were able to get away awhile,” Aragorn said drily and then smiled slightly and added, “although I suppose one could ride out and oversea12 the work in the outer planes13. When I was in the Shire their14 was another reason to welcome the summer. The midsummer festivities there are rather joyous.”

Corrected version:

“This is good wine,”1 Angbor of Lebennin commented.

Imrahil2 inclined his head in acknowledgement, It’s3 but last year’s4 crop. We shall have a much better wine this year, with a longer summer.”

“Here’s to5 a fine, long summer an excelent6 crop of cherry7 wine then,” the young lord of Lossarnach said.8

“Indeed,”9 Aragorn said quietly.10 “This shall be one summer that is much looked forward to.”

“It would be nice to be able to ride out all day in the warmth, bathe11 in the river, and sleep out in the open, under the stars,” Faramir said, almost wistfully.

“It would be if one were able to get away awhile,” Aragorn said drily and then smiled slightly and added, “although I suppose one could ride out and oversee12 the work in the outer plain13. When I was in the Shire there14 was another reason to welcome the summer. The midsummer festivities there are rather joyous.”

Notes

1 Punctuation, and especially punctuation around dialogue is tricky for a lot of people. There should be a comma here, since the sentence is not over yet. As a beta reader, it is your job to look out for these sort of errors. There’s a great guide on dialogue punctuation here — it’s a little childish but very clear.

2 Since this is the Faramir Fiction Archive, and therefore all stories are set in Tolkien’s Middle Earth, you’ll also need to know a little about Tolkien’s characters. Faramir’s uncle (the brother of Finduilas, his mother) is called Imrahil.

3 Another common mistake. Its is the possessive form of it, like his is the possessive of he. What we’ve got here is the contraction of “it is” – so we need an apostrophe: it’s.

4 Last year’s crop: it is the crop of last year, so it needs an apostrophe: the same apostrophe as you’d use in “Tolkien’s book”.

5 Too (with double o) means either “also / as well”, or “excessively”, as in too hot. This to is a preposition: Lossarnach is toasting to a good crop.

6 Excellent is spelled with double l.

7 Cherry (the fruit) is spelled with a y instead of ie. However, the plural of cherry is cherries.

8 This sentence is missing the period at the end.

9 There needs to be a comma here, just like with error 1.

10 This is another problem with dialogue punctuation. You have a choice here: either there should be a period after quietly to end the sentence, or quietly could be followed by a comma but then the sentence continues and therefore the following “This” wouldn’t take a capital.

11 Bath is a noun (a bath is a container for water); bathe the verb (to bathe to immerse oneself in water to wash or swim).

12 Oversea should be oversee — meaning to supervise.

13 Planes should be plains — meaning the geographical term for a stretch of land that is mostly flat, like the Great Plains and the part of Spain that (if we are to trust the song) receives most rain.

14 Their and there sound the same, but have different meanings. Their is the possessive form of they: their house. There is the place that is not _here). (And then there’s also “they’re” which is the contraction of “they are”, which again sounds the same as their and there.)

If you want to read the whole story, it’s here: Festivity by Minx.

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