You’ve got personality … use it!

“Humility is no substitute for a good personality.” Fran Lebowitz Happy first Monday of 2013! Back in December, I wrote about my basic description of a writer’s voice. Today and for the next couple weeks I’d like to break that down into what I believe are the elements of a strong writer’s voice, beginning with Read more about You’ve got personality … use it![…]

2013 – a year for discoveries

Well, it’s New Year’s Eve, the last day of the calendar year. I have to apologize for being absent the last few weeks. I figured everyone was too busy shopping and baking and partying and preparing for the end of the world to read my thoughts about writing and editing. (Long pause.) Actually, I just Read more about 2013 – a year for discoveries[…]

Voice – Do you hear what I hear?

Recently I saw a video by a comedian who was poking some fun at the Christmas carol “Do You Hear What I Hear.” The comedian joked about the impossibility of the lyrics – like the second stanza: “Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy” – at which point he demonstrated his view of what Read more about Voice – Do you hear what I hear?[…]

No, no! No more NaNo!

I had intended to dedicate this week to homonyms, or synonyms…or one of those “nyms” that cause so much confusion in our language, but I changed my mind when I realized that we’d come to the end of November — otherwise known as D (deadline) Day to the thousands of writers who took up the Read more about No, no! No more NaNo![…]

Characters – Love them; love them not?

The other day my sister and I were talking about a book she’s reading. She said she was enjoying the book immensely, but the story’s main character was troubling her. “She’s heartless,” my sister said. “I don’t like her.” She almost spit the words out, like she’d just bitten into a bad tomato. What a Read more about Characters – Love them; love them not?[…]

Beta readers ~ be careful what you ask for!

Some of you might know that I write commercial fiction under a pseudonym. As a grammar snob, I pride myself on generally clean manuscripts. Not that I don’t need editing — believe me, I do — but the edits usually aren’t for grammar or punctuation, at least not on a large scale. So when I Read more about Beta readers ~ be careful what you ask for![…]

Help! I’ve misplaced my modifier and I don’t know what to do!

My target for this week’s rant is the misplaced modifier and its close cousin, the dangling participle. I can think of no other grammar no-no that can create as much confusion as these woefully common (and often hilarious) errors. Why? Because they cause a reader to stop mid-sentence and force the reader to reconstruct the Read more about Help! I’ve misplaced my modifier and I don’t know what to do![…]

Spelling schmelling?

I’ve been ranting this past month or so about how important it is for professional communicators to use proper language and grammar, and how vital it is for story-tellers especially to be wary of falling into the trap of pop culture fads in our written language. Why? Because anything that forces the reader to do Read more about Spelling schmelling?[…]

Typo-rage: Get a grip, people! It’s a typo!

If there’s one thing that gets grammar snobs going, aside from serial commas and apostrophe abuse, it’s sloppy proofreading or errors, especially in publications that are supposed to have been professionally copy edited. When I see a typo, though, unless the piece is riddled with errors, I try to give the author the benefit of Read more about Typo-rage: Get a grip, people! It’s a typo![…]

Apostrophe Abuse: It … must … stop!

This week we’re talking about the much-maligned apostrophe, a mark of punctuation that has been incorrectly used by so many in American pop culture over the past few years (maybe even the past decade) that even I have been known to fall victim to popular but incorrect usage from time to time. (And believe me, Read more about Apostrophe Abuse: It … must … stop![…]