Welcome to June edition of Writer’s Tips. It’s an exceptionally crazy time for me right now in the middle of getting ready to moving madness. But I’ve managed to capture a few posts that stood out to me in my short travels along blogland. I hope you bloggers and authors all find something of interest here today. Hugh Roberts, Kathy Steinemann, Sally Cronin, Nicholas Rossis and Anne R Allen’s blogs are always filled with valuable information. I also came across an interesting new social platform – Clubhouse, an interesting new medium where we can be heard without being seen. Check it out!
Sally Cronin has a new series at her Smorgasbord Invitation, helping authors get the best exposure for their books and themselves in her Public Relations series for authors. Visit the post to find the others in the series
Welcome to a new edition of Writer’s Tips. In this compilation I’ve collected along my reading travels, I found an informative post about using the new WP editor, and another interesting find from the WordPress website – WP now enabling podcasting, and some excellent tips for bloggers.
I came across this WordPress post from one of the ‘Happiness Engineers’, who explain lots of questions bloggers have about the new Gutenberg editor. I highly recommend bloggers on the new editor to check it out, and those (like me) who stubbornly remain with the old editor, to bookmark this for the day we are forced to using it. Be sure to read comments there too, as they are just as educational.
Welcome back to a new year of my Sunday Book Reviews. In this first review of the year I’m featuring my review for Harmony Kent’s – Polish Your Prose. This book is an invaluable guide book for every writer’s desktop to have nearby for both refreshing the seasoned writer and a must have for every new writer.
Polish Your Prose is a powerful new guide that gives essential editing tips for authors.
Lots of books have been written on the art of writing, and here—at last—is a guide that will teach you the essential techniques of editing your own book. This will help you turn a promising manuscript into a published novel. And, it does this without the jargon. You don’t need to know all the grammatical terms in order to make use of this book. You don’t need to know the definition of a split infinitive, a comma splice, or a ‘to be’ verb, as this manual explains these in detail in easy to understand terms, and a lively and engaging style.
Chapters on Passive Writing, Tense, Point of View, Dialogue, and other techniques take you through the same processes an editor would go through to polish and perfect your manuscript.
Good writing is nothing without good editing. Learn the secrets of good editing and writing with this essential author reference, which offers so much more for so much less.
Harmony Kent is an award winning author, and accomplished editor and proofreader. Her passion is helping Indie Authors to successfully achieve their goals and dreams.
New Apple Book Awards Top Medalist Winner 2015
“This book is a mine of useful information. It’s concise and easy to understand. You don’t have to wade through pages upon pages of chatter; Harmony Kent gets straight to the point. ” — Michelle Abbott, Romance Author
“If the complexities of grammar and punctuation sometimes confound you – this gem of a book is for you. This is a guide I’ll be dipping into over and over.”–Wendy Scott, Fantasy Author
My 5 Star Review:
A concise writer’s guide written in simplicity with easy to refer to chapters, no filler babble in these bite-sized chapters to help hone your editing skills. This book succinctly covers chapters on all bibs and bobs of writing a clean and concise manuscript. However, this is not a book about how to write a book, but rather, a complete checklist on the dos and don’ts of writing clean, complete with easy to understand lessons with examples covering all the topics that make for better writing.
In this book Kent covers such topics as: show don’t tell, how to avoid head-hopping, weeding out adverbs and cliches, importance of staying in tense, use of contractions, dialogue tags, overuse of starting sentences with same pronouns, common stylistic and grammar issues, and more! Kent also adds good tips for proofreading, what to include when writing book reviews – and what not to, how to handle bad reviews, and once learning the rules – how they can be broken.
Polish Your Prose also includes added bonus charts on common word replacements from British to American English, and a list of commonly used words that are used incorrectly. Point of view use is also discussed and demonstrated with concise examples.
This book is a handy guide for writers on all levels. For the seasoned writer, it’s a wonderful refresher guide for those moments we are stumped while revising and editing. And for new writers, it’s a must have on every desktop.
I’m reblogging a sweet deal Stevie Turner is offering at her blog. Send her your manuscript for grammar and typo edits and buy one of her books and review! Check it out!
My New Service for Authors
One thing I’ve always had to be mindful of in my many years as a medical secretary is good spelling and grammar, as doctors read the letters I’ve typed and they can be quite scathing if letters are not up to standard.
Therefore using these talents, I’ve had an idea that might help me promote my books. Goodness knows we authors try so many ways to market our novels, and this is a new one. It might work or it might not. I’ll let you know in 6 months’ time…
If you’d like to post your (anything up to) 50,000 word manuscript to me, then I’ll check it for spelling and grammar. I won’t alter the story at all, so rest assured there. I prefer to mark a physical manuscript rather than work online, as my eyes do not fare too well if I stare at a screen for long periods of time. So … send me something you don’t mind me writing on with my red pen.
What about the price? Well, all I’ll charge is the price of one of my books and a review. You can buy an eBook, paperback or audio version of whichever of my books interest you. I’ll work on the plan that one review will equal up to 50,000 words of your manuscript. Books from 50,000 – 100,000 words will … continue reading at Stevie’s blog
Today I’m sharing my latest review for a wonderful book and handy reference guide I highly recommend for all writers and students – Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing by Mignon Fogarty.
I’m sure we’ve all read several books on the subjects of grammar and punctuation, but this book is a true gem because it covers so much and is illustrated in simple and entertaining terms using her animated characters Aardvark and Squiggly for her demonstrations on word and punctuation use. Forgarty also runs a successful and entertaining grammar podcast Grammar Girl Podcast – Quick and Dirty Tips
Online sensation Grammar Girl makes grammar fun and easy in this New York Times bestseller
Are you stumped by split infinitives? Terrified of using “who” when a “whom” is called for? Do you avoid the words “affect” and “effect” altogether?
Grammar Girl is here to help!
Mignon Fogarty, a.k.a. Grammar Girl, is determined to wipe out bad grammar—but she’s also determined to make the process as painless as possible. A couple of years ago, she created a weekly podcast to tackle some of the most common mistakes people make while communicating. The podcasts have now been downloaded more than twenty million times, and Mignon has dispensed grammar tips on Oprah and appeared on the pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.
Written with the wit, warmth, and accessibility that the podcasts are known for, Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing covers the grammar rules and word-choice guidelines that can confound even the best writers. From “between vs. among” and “although vs. while” to comma splices and misplaced modifiers, Mignon offers memory tricks and clear explanations that will help readers recall and apply those troublesome grammar rules. Chock-full of tips on style, business writing, and effective e-mailing, Grammar Girl’s print debut deserves a spot on every communicator’s desk.
My 5 Star Review
This book is an excellent guide for all writers and students to keep for handy reference. Fogarty makes learning the rules of writing fun and memorable with her succinct illustrations and examples, using her cartoon characters, Squiggly and Aardvark to demonstrate her examples.
If you find yourself getting stumped on issues such as these issues: pronouns, serial commas, em dashes vs.hyphens, and more, look no further than this handy book. Besides covering the many troubling grammar issues that sometimes have us questioning our writing, this book also offers a handy list on tips for proofreading our work and tips to create a style sheet to track words in our writing to note for editors.
Quick and Dirty Tips is one of the most entertaining and comprehensive books I’ve read on the use of grammar and punctuation. A must have book for every writer’s arsenal of writing tools.
I’ll be doing a review on this book in the next week or two, but I wanted to share what I discovered about this punctuation mark here today.
As Fogarty’s book explains, it wouldn’t look proper to add both an exclamation and question mark at the end of a sentence, but some expressions warrant it. Although it’s not advised to use this mark in formal writing, it’s approved to use in informal writing and communications when we’re wanting to emphasize in exclamation and make a statement with a rhetorical question in surprise at the same time.
The mark is basically an exclamation mark combined with a question mark.
Let’s say someone tells us something shocking or incredulous, a natural reaction we may respond with may be:
You did not!?
Are you crazy?!
Are you crazy!?
You did not?!
Those are just a few examples where you could use the interrobang, which would look much cleaner than the versions I’ve listed including unacceptable double punctuation marks. The statements are rhetorical, reacting in surprise and/or in outburst of disbelief or shock. Have you ever written a statement informally where you wanted to express strong emphasis on a statement or reply such as: What??????????? I know I have, especially since I’m a very expressive and animated personality.
A Little History on the Interrobang
It was invented by American, Martin K. Speckter in 1962, to make a cleaner punctuation mark. The name was inspired by the Latin – Interrogatio – meaning rhetorical question, and the “Bang” was taken from a printers’ slang for exclamation mark.
In 1968 an Interrobang key was available on some Remington typewriters, and into the 70s, some Smith-Corona typewriters incorporated it, although not a standard mark. In the 60s, it was considered quite en vogue and consequently appeared in some dictionaries and was used in various newspaper and magazine articles.
Many fonts don’t include this mark, but you can find it in certain versions of Microsoft Word in the “Symbols” section. It’s in Wingdings 2 and Palatino font.
Ironically, I can’t demonstrate it here in a sentence because I wrote this post in my WordPress editor and the mark isn’t listed in my symbols. But when I was working on my desktop with an older version of Word I use on that computer, 2007, I did find the mark there. Alternatively, if you can’t find it in your symbols on your Word program, you only have to change to Palatino while you’re in there and you should find it.
Now, what do you think about this interesting punctuation mark? Would you consider using it? Would you like to see it become fashionable again and acceptable to use in formal writing?