Making a superficial scan of the thousands of bloggers, promoters, DIYers and wannabe gurus on the web, we find tons of tried-and-true wisdom about how to be a writer. Even how to make money at it. Some of that advice needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Some of it with a huge, horse-pasture-sized block of salt. Especially if we have illusions about making money at writing.
What Does Everyone Tell Us?
What we want to hear, of course: Continue reading “4 Bits of Bad Advice for Writers”
All right. This is not an essay from an expert telling everybody about better writing technique. This is a writer complaining about all the dratted self-styled experts who have nothing better to do than find arbitrary ways to complain about our work.
Case in Point.
I write, “Her eyes dropped to the floor.” And my smart-*ss editor comments, “I hope she picked them up afterwards.” Continue reading “Cast Your Eyes Over This and Other Writing Flubs?”
In my reading, I often see questionable usage of a few related punctuation marks. I know (1) that grammar is not every writer’s strong suit and (2) the rules for grammar are more often gray rather than black and white, with lots of room for subjective variation, but a short primer on a few of the more confusing marks might be in order.
Many writers today seem to either hate or distrust the semi-colon, and that could be because they are not clear on the usage (and I won’t even go into the discussion about the spelling, with or without a space and/or dash). Cathy Speight did an IU piece on this persnickety punctuation mark a while back, but I want to talk about it along with some other marks that are sometimes confused, so I’ll recap the semi-colon here as well. Interestingly enough, in the mid-19th century there was an organization of writers in Cincinnati, Ohio called the Semi-Colon Club. Members included Harriet Beecher Stowe and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Salmon P. Chase, among others. I would guess from their choice of name for their group that they were not afraid to use the much-maligned mark. Continue reading “Those Pesky Punctuation Marks”
by Jacqueline Hopkins-Walton
Do you get hung up on rules about writing? Rules that everyone in the writing industry is telling you that you must follow in order to get a book written and even published?
Lin Robinson wrote five blog posts about breaking the rules (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5). I pondered if his list is why I am struggling with my writing lately…or for the past fifteen years.
Now if you did a google search on rules of good fiction writing, you get a long list of rules. From seven rules to ten rules to sixteen rules; from rules on short fiction writing to writing fiction to writing historical fiction, novel, poetry, and creative writing, and I have a feeling the list goes on and on and on. I didn’t click on Google’s next page of lists, I don’t have time to read about more rules since the ones I hear about now or have known about years ago are keeping me from writing and completing the next book. Continue reading “Hung Up on Rules?”