Punctuation Is Your Friend . . .

[found on thepunctuationguide.com]

 . . .

“An ellipsis is a set of three periods ( . . . ) indicating an omission. Each period should have a single space on either side, except when adjacent to a quotation mark, in which case there should be no space.”

“The em dash is perhaps the most versatile punctuation mark. Depending on the context, the em dash can take the place of commasparentheses, or colons—in each case to slightly different effect.

Notwithstanding its versatility, the em dash is best limited to two appearances per sentence. Otherwise, confusion rather than clarity is likely to result.

Do not mistake the em dash (—) for the slightly narrower en dash (–) or the even narrower hyphen (-). Those marks serve different purposes and are further explained in other sections.”

!

The most flagrant way a writer demonstrates contempt for his readers is by ignoring punctuation altogether. A close second is the abundant use of the exclamation point. Some writers even use three or more exclamation points, lest the reader not fully grasp the significance of what is being said.  To be effective, the exclamation point should be used in moderation.”

[ found on http://www.thepunctuationguide.com/index.html ]
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Rehearse Your Writing

[found on dailywritingtips.com; by Mark Nichol]

“Rehearse your writing by explaining the feel of a room, a street, or a park. Is it expansive, or economical? Friendly, or foreboding? Clean, or chaotic? What do your other senses tell you? What is the noise level? How does it smell? What are the textures like? Is it easy to walk through or along, or to otherwise navigate, or do obstacles interfere?

If your story takes place in a natural landscape, describe the terrain and what associations it has based on whether it conjures a sense of grace, harmony, and peace or whether it is full of bleak, harsh, jagged features. How does the presence of vegetation, or bodies of water, contribute to the feel of the terrain? What effect does the weather produce?

Place your characters in the context of their locations by showing, without telling, whether they are at home in their setting or whether the environment is alien to them, and how they respond to their feelings.”

For more great tips from Mark Nichol, click here.

[found on http://www.dailywritingtips.com/physical-descriptions-put-readers-in-your-place]