Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers
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.
Added by Elizabeth Fisher on January 24, 2016 at 5:30pm — No Comments
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…
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…Continue
Added by David Bowman on September 17, 2014 at 6:39pm — No Comments
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…Continue
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…Continue
Added by David Bowman on March 25, 2014 at 11:22pm — No Comments
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…Continue
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…Continue
Added by David Bowman on January 21, 2014 at 11:36pm — No Comments
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.…Continue
Added by Katie McKnight on November 13, 2013 at 5:05am — No Comments
“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…Continue
Added by David Bowman on October 8, 2013 at 11:52pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by David Bowman on October 8, 2013 at 1:11am — No Comments
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…
Added by David Bowman on August 23, 2013 at 11:55pm — No Comments
“The Verbatim Code” Scavenger Hunt Is On!
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 verbatimeditorial.com.
Find all 10 errors and email them to VerbEdit1@aol.com. When 5 people have submitted correct answers (all 10 answers must be correct), one person will be picked at random to win one…
Added by Lori Stephens on July 4, 2013 at 4:38am — No Comments
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…Continue
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…Continue
Added by Debra L Hartmann on April 24, 2013 at 6:30pm — No Comments
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.
Added by David Bowman on April 3, 2013 at 11:47pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on March 22, 2013 at 11:43am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on February 15, 2013 at 5:16pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on February 8, 2013 at 5:45am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on February 1, 2013 at 8:43am — No Comments
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…
Added by Shirley M Patterson on January 16, 2013 at 3:36pm — No Comments