Craft Monday: Beware the “ing”s!

When I first started writing fiction, I happened upon a writing tutorial that admonished to never, never, never start a sentence with an “ing” word. That bugged me, since one of my big rules is to mix up sentence structure. So I started to pay attention to what “the greats” did, and I found that Read more about Craft Monday: Beware the “ing”s![…]

Keep Your Modifiers in Place and Don’t Let Them Dangle

  Writing this blog post, my phone rang.  A man selling cemetery plots with a husky voice was calling. Okay, neither of those happened. But I thought they would serve as good examples. The first sentence is a dangling modifier; it insinuates my phone was writing this blog post (and it might do a better Read more about Keep Your Modifiers in Place and Don’t Let Them Dangle[…]

The written form of English is . . . weird

I spent the bulk of the past weekend proofreading, a task that made me not only question every grammar rule I’ve ever learned, but my own sanity. Maybe the cause was my backwards reading, from back to front, so I could pick up errors (and not get caught up in the story). In my fervor Read more about The written form of English is . . . weird[…]

Ask the editor….come on, we know you have questions!

If you’re a writer, published or unpublished, we know you probably have questions about the nitty-gritty details of editing a novel. So once a month we’ll be posting your questions with answers from our editing partners. The only rule we have is that your questions be related to writing or editing — that’s it! You Read more about Ask the editor….come on, we know you have questions![…]

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?[…]

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![…]

We nearly came to blows…over a comma?

My son and I had it out the other day. I don’t remember which of us began yelling first, but what started as an innocent conversation took less than a minute to escalate to an all-out screaming match. If our neighbors were unlucky enough to hear us, they probably guessed we were arguing about money, Read more about We nearly came to blows…over a comma?[…]