Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers

All Blog Posts Tagged 'writing' (127)

Thinking Outside the Box But Within the Big Picture

As a member of the Knoxville Writers Guild, and in particular of the Guild’s Sci-Fi/Fantasy Writers’ Group, I recently joined in on a writing experiment that was downright fun. The idea was that each of us write a short ditty (called “flash writing”) using a photo as a writing prompt.


We were…


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Added by Elizabeth Fisher on January 24, 2016 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Thompson On...Elements of Novel Writing!

Novel writing is demanding!

The novel writing process incorporates elements that must be blended and mastered to create a successful novel. I’ve developed a series of articles that will help you unit these diverse elements together and craft that…


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Added by JE Thompson on February 21, 2015 at 3:31am — No Comments


I received an interesting question from an English teacher in Iran who wanted to know the differences, if any, between “must” and “have to/has to.” This is an interesting question because the expressions are nearly identical. To answer, I had to think not only about their strict definitions but also about how they are used. 

The terms “must” and “have to/has to” are modal auxiliaries that communicate (1) an obligation to perform some action or (2) that some state of being or action is…


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Added by David Bowman on September 17, 2014 at 6:39pm — No Comments

Why I Love to Write

I am sure you writers will agree, there are many reasons we like to write. For me, the first reason is that it's my "outlet". It's the way I resolve things in my own mind. Sometimes it comes out in a short story. At other times it comes out in a song or poetry or in a blog post.  (See a video of a song I wrote below)

I call my self a creative writer. I mainly like…


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Added by Leisa Coffman on April 30, 2014 at 9:52pm — 1 Comment

Education Leaders Struggle with Writing

Teaching elementary and secondary students how to write well is challenging. Many students don’t understand the core principles behind writing, including the basics of sentence and paragraph structure, a logical progression of ideas, and reader awareness. Others don’t have the technical skills of writing, including grammar and punctuation. However, with consistent, year-by-year, engaging instruction by committed teachers who understand not only the value but also the principles and skills of…


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Added by David Bowman on March 25, 2014 at 11:22pm — No Comments

From Bad to Good-Technical and Academic Writing

Academic and technical writing are far different than literary writing, such as novels and poetry. The primary purpose of academic and technical writing is to provide information about a defined topic to a specific audience. Whether you write graduate papers, professional journal articles, dissertations, white papers, manuals, websites, reviews, or similar documents, you are writing academic or technical documents.


Academic and technical writing can be bad writing. They can…


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Added by David Bowman on February 8, 2014 at 1:06am — 1 Comment

Correct Use of "Rather Than"

This is a great question, and it is one I don't often see. On the other hand, it reflects a concept that confuses many people: parallelism. 

Correct use of “rather than” 

“Rather than” indicates a parallel structure in which two things are compared. To be grammatically correct, the two things being compared need to be equal, meaning they have the same grammatical structure or form. 

Here are two simple examples to demonstrate the parallel structure created…


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Added by David Bowman on January 21, 2014 at 11:36pm — No Comments

Author Promoting vs. Author Networking

The number one rule for authors is to network with other authors.  I have been informed numerous times that authors who resist others in the field, often disappear.  What’s the best way to network?  Find someone smarter than you. It's the only way we will learn and/or grow.…


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Added by Katie McKnight on November 13, 2013 at 5:05am — No Comments

The Boring Passive Voice

“Your writing bores me.” “I am bored by your writing.”

Not only do these two sentences demonstrate the difference between the active and passive voice but also they communicate a central reason for avoiding the passive voice.

In the active voice, the subject of the sentence does the action described by the main verb. Thus, the subject is active. In the passive voice, the action is done to the subject. Thus, the subject is passive. Passive voice is a problem for direct writing…


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Added by David Bowman on October 8, 2013 at 11:52pm — No Comments

Be More Active with Your Writing

Active and Passive Voice: When you are active, you do something. When you are passive, things happen to you. This is the same concept as the active and passive voice in sentences.

In the active voice, the subject performs the action described by the main verb. In the passive voice, the action described by the main verb is done to the subject.

Example D.1a, active voice: “The service…


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Added by David Bowman on October 8, 2013 at 1:11am — No Comments

Comma with “Including” Changes the Meaning

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Where you add or leave out a comma can change the meaning of a sentence.

Let’s look at a news story I read this morning to learn how a comma before “including” changes the meaning of the sentence. In this example, I think the writer left out a comma, thus communicating something that probably isn’t true.

“The Chicago Teachers Union has [sic] announced that it will send a bus to the 50th Anniversary March on Washington, a…


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Added by David Bowman on August 23, 2013 at 11:55pm — No Comments

The quest is a treasure hunt--the prize is editing services

“The Verbatim Code” Scavenger Hunt Is On!

The Challenge:

My website has 18 pages, and 10 editorial errors have been hidden on the pages. These are errors in spelling, grammar, or punctuation. Go to

Your Quest:

Find all 10 errors and email them to When 5 people have submitted correct answers (all 10 answers must be correct), one person will be picked at random to win one…


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Added by Lori Stephens on July 4, 2013 at 4:38am — No Comments

Outlining vs. Freewriting. What are your thoughts?

Characters are dominating your thoughts, your fingers are itching to type and the beginning of a great story fills your computer screen.  Then...silence. You reach that point in your story where your characters take a coffee break and you are left with writer's block.

This has happened to me more times than I wish to admit. The story my thoughts have been obsessed with are eventually filed away and forgotten. It is so frustrating.

New characters are once again running amuck in…


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Added by Katie McKnight on May 5, 2013 at 9:55pm — 18 Comments

Have you had an AHA moment lately?

That moment when you see or hear something and your response is "AHA" can make all the difference in so many ways.  Specifically, I want to talk about AHA moments that we have as authors and the challenging task of marketing ourselves and our books in today's e-everything market.  Realistically, even if you get the best possible traditional publishing contract, to compete in today's market you have to learn how to use social media, blogging and websites to market your reputation and your…


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Added by Debra L Hartmann on April 24, 2013 at 6:30pm — No Comments

The Confusion of And vs. To

The Confusion of And vs. To

English can be a difficult language to learn, not because English grammar is tricky (though it can be) but because the language can be vague. Word choice, in particular, can be very confusing, particularly when more than one word is possible.

Here’s a question I received recently about the nuances of the English language.

Question: Which of the following is correct:

a. I would like to send Peter an email AND give him my regards.

b. I…


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Added by David Bowman on April 3, 2013 at 11:47pm — No Comments

Adult Truth #9

#9I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.”

I know what you mean.

Last year, my taekwondo instructor and I discussed his training for his upcoming test for his 7th Degree Black Belt. He mentioned his commitment to practicing his form, a daily exercise routine, and always looking toward the goal. Only recently before that conversation I had begun a new exercise regimen to…


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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on March 22, 2013 at 11:43am — No Comments

Adult Truth #8

#8Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.”

At first I thought this was a little insensitive to the dead person's surviving family. Do the grandsons really need to read about grandma getting run over by a reindeer? Then I thought: lighten up, these truths are supposed be light-hearted fun.

With the last truth I discussed how much detail to put into a…


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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on February 15, 2013 at 5:16pm — No Comments

Adult Truth #7

#7 “MapQuest really needs to start their directions on step 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.”

I agree. Actually, I use MSN Maps and always skip ahead to the point in the trip that is unfamiliar. For those of you planning on using any of these programs, they're pretty handy. Take into account, however, how the mapping system is designed. Is it going to give you the fastest route or…


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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on February 8, 2013 at 5:45am — No Comments

No Naked Mole Rats, Part 2

naked-mole-rat Because I know you've been sitting on the edge of your seat for a week, here's the second part to help those who are planning to attend writing conferences in the future and want to be on a panel.

6. Depart from Your Script. You want to be prepared, but realize that the best panels take on a life of their own. Your notes and any questions you may have been sent ahead of time…


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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on February 1, 2013 at 8:43am — No Comments

How I got started in writing


When I was forced out of New Orleans by the ravishing flood waters of Hurricane Katrina, I ended up in a small town, only 3 hours away from my hurricane ravished home. I had a free place to live, but it was a long way from everything I had ever known. It just didn't feel like home. I was experiencing true country living, and I was a city person.  This…


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Added by Shirley M Patterson on January 16, 2013 at 3:36pm — No Comments

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