Two Words? Oops, One Word

[found on quickanddirtytips.com; by Bonnie Trenga Mills]

“Do you want to get ahead (one word) or are you cooking an esoteric dish and want to get a head (two words)? That one little space can make a big difference in meaning: Either you are moving past others in business or you are purchasing a skull…..

When it comes to pairs such as “apart” with no space and “a part” with a space, the spelling doesn’t matter when you’re talking; both sound the same. When you write the words, however, you might forget to add a space, or you might add an unnecessary one. This problem crops up with all kinds of words, but in this episode we’re focusing on words beginning with the letter “a.”

Words That Start With “A”

Here’s a short list of pairs like “ahead” and “a head”: “alight” and “a light,” “abuzz” and “a buzz,” “apart” and “a part,” and, lastly, “ahold” and “a hold.” As you can see from this list, the one-worders beginning with “a” can be various parts of speech: “ahead” is an adverb, “alight” is a verb,” and “abuzz” is an adjective. The two-worders, on the other hand, consist of an article—the word “a”—and a noun: “light,” “buzz,” “part,” and “hold.” True, these words can sometimes be verbs, but when something follows the article “a,” it’s a noun (unless something such as an adjective comes between the article and the noun, as in “a delicious cake”).

“Alight” Versus “A Light”

Let’s see these four pairs in action. The first two—“alight”/“a light” and “abuzz”/“a buzz”—are the easy ones. You could say, “That annoying bee wants to alight on my nose.” This means the bee wants to land on your nose, and there’s no space in “alight.” If you say, “He turned on a light”—with a space—that means he was no longer enveloped in darkness.

“Abuzz” Versus “A Buzz”

In keeping with the bee theme, here’s our next example: “I heard a buzz.” A quick test for those listening: Is there a space or not? Well, yes, there is! “A buzz” with a space means “a buzzing noise.” “Abuzz” with no space is an adjective that means alive with activity, as in “The room became abuzz when the grammarian entered.”

To read the entire article from Grammar Girl, click here.

[found on http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/a-hold-or-ahold]
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Not All Is Possessive

[found on grammarphobia.com; by The Grammarphobia Blog]

 Nouns: Possessive vs Genitive

“Normally, nouns used with numbers to form adjectival phrases are singular, as in “two-inch rain,” “three-year-old boy,” “two-dollar word,” “eight-volume biography,” and “four-star restaurant.”

However, where a plural noun is used by tradition to form such a phrase, it’s generally followed by an apostrophe, as in “the Thirty Years’ War” and “the Hundred Years’ War.”

The plural followed by an apostrophe is also used in phrases like “ten dollars’ worth” or “five years’ experience” or “two days’ time.”

Apostrophe constructions like these aren’t “possessive” in the sense of ownership; strictly speaking, they’re genitive.”

To learn more from grammarphobia.com, click here.

[found on http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2010/08/sui-genitive.html]

How To Manage Your Edits

“As an editor, I have heard horror stories about authors who didn’t know how to process the edits they received back from their editors. Instead of asking what to do with the Word document, [caution, you’re going to scream] some of the authors printed the full manuscript, compared item by item, then RETYPED the entire manuscript.

Don’t let this be you.

Firstly, your editor is on your TEAM. An editor wants you to succeed. And even though you may feel like we are all jackals, we don’t really bite. Ask us questions—especially when you feel overwhelmed or uncertain.”

— Billi Joy Carson / Senior Editor, Editing Addict

  EDITOR Sends Completed File Back to AUTHOR:

THE AUTHOR’S JOB:

1. READ through document

2. CHOOSE FROM (to accept and/or reject changes)

a. Accept All Changes in Document

b. Accept and Move to Next

c. Reject All Changes in Document

d. Reject and Move to Next

3. SHORTCUT for authors

a. Save TWO* versions of the file you received from your editor.

i. File A [edits accepted]

1. In Word Doc, under REVIEW tab [File A]

2. Select Accept All Changes in Document [File A]

ii. File B [edits visible]

1. Leave the file the way you received from the editor

b. Read through File A side-by-side with File B

i. If you find an edit you don’t want

1. In File B

a. Under REVIEW tab [File B]

b. Select Reject and Move to Next [File B]

ii. When you are finished reading File A, and correcting File B,

1. In File B

a. Under REVIEW tab [File B]

b. Select Accept All Changes in Document [File B]

c. File B is now fully edited, and author approved

*At Editing Addict, I do this beforehand for my authors, however, not all editors have the [File A & File B] policy, and expect the author to do it on their end. How To Manage Your Edits

How to Accept and/or Reject Tracked Changes in a Word Document: YouTube Video

Still have questions? Leave a comment below, or send  a message to the editor: billijoycarson@editingaddict.com. Teamwork brings success!

Notes and Words Dance

[found on dittomusic.com]

Two tips of ten for writing music:

“Tune In To Your Emotions

When writing songs, it’s important to make sure that the lyrics have a powerful emotional impact. One of the best ways to make sure a song has an emotional impact is by writing lyrics with passion. It’s essential to be passionate about something in life. Without passion, everyday life can become dull and uninteresting. This insipid and bland lifestyle can seep into one’s lyrics. When you sell music online, don’t send people to sleep

Do Crazy Stuff

Few people ever hear a truly great song that was written by an accountant or a dentist. While these are good career choices, many musicians lead colorful lives that serve as an inspiration for their lyrics.”

To see more tips from Ditto Music, click here.

[found on http://www.dittomusic.com/blog/how-to-write-a-song-10-tips-on-how-to-boost-your-creative-side-when-writing-songs]

What Real Authors Use For Tools

[found on flavorwire.com; by Alison Nastasi]

“It’s no secret that writers can be quite particular about their writing tools. Some might call it an obsession or fetish, but the pens, pencils, notebooks, and other implements that authors have used to create their most famous works endlessly fascinates us. After reading an ode to the beloved Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 pencil, adored for its smooth, firm graphite, we had to find out more about the tools of the literary elite. Take notes, and save your pennies to purchase these writing instruments for yourself.”

To see these incredible writing tools listed from Flavorwire, click HERE.

[found on http://flavorwire.com/410384/the-writing-tools-of-20-famous-authors]

Writing Non-Fiction…HOW?

[found on niemanstoryboard.org]

FINDING THE STORY

    • Every story has its surface-level meaning. Let’s say the surface story for “Titanic” is that a huge ocean liner goes down. But what is the theme of the movie? What is the real meaning of the story? Theme, at least in my view, is the underlying meaning of the story.
    • Stories can have several thematic strings, and especially powerful ones are layered in that way. As a writer, I think you want to figure out what is the most important one, the one that you want to spend the most time on.
    • When doing narrative, you have to sharpen your focus and figure out what your story is really about. Think about one set piece, performance, play or wedding – something that takes place within a set amount of time. There are also natural journeys like a road trip, or internal journeys, like addiction or abuse.
    • If you’re the narrator, we need to see you and to understand who you are.
    • When you’re trying to get readers to care, to get readers in on that, they have to see some of what you have seen. Try to figure out what it is that the reader really needs to know.
    • If you decide to write about deeply personal things, you have to go all the way. If there’s painful stuff you’re holding back, it won’t work. If you’re not ready to go there, that’s fine; maybe let the story sit for a while.

NUTS AND BOLTS

    • You want to engage the reader immediately – start in the middle of things.
    • As you add to the number of characters in your story, the more complicated it becomes, because the reader has to keep track of more people.
    • Once your language is powerful, your next step is to take it and pare it down, read it aloud and see when the sentences go on. When you find that, you either break up the sentence or get rid of adjectives and adverbs.
    • Be simple and clear; don’t let the beauty take over – which is not to say you shouldn’t have any beautiful writing. You want some beautiful sentences, but you don’t want to overdo it.
    • The more you focus your narrative on scenes, the stronger your narrative will become.
    • Really good narrative writers talk about limiting the number of flashbacks. Tom French diagrams flashbacks with loops and tries not to have more than one or two.
    • Metaphors are really hard to carry out. My advice would be to use them very sparingly. You can use so many layers of metaphors that you get confused. A story can be compelling without any overt metaphors.
    • One really useful thing to do after you write your first draft is to see what happens after you remove the first paragraph or two. Often times it’s the second paragraph that’s the real beginning.
    • Watch out for trying to explain too much.
    • You don’t have to put a bow at the end or always have a totally clean resolution. Is there a way for you to evoke an idea without necessarily saying it or explaining it? Is there an image or scene that can convey a feeling or idea to close the piece?”
[found on http://www.niemanstoryboard.org/2010/07/28/tom-huang-narrative-tips-from-mayborn-conference]

Hero Character? Or Hapless Victim?

[found on 5writers5novels5months.com]

“Why Do We Torture Our Heroes?

There are three big problems with a hapless victim as protagonist.

Problem #1: Repetitive Agonizing
Over-tortured, victimized characters tend to express their constant frustration. After all, the author has to give these poor sods something to say, and when a character with a life-threatening disease, whose true love recently dumped him just after his dog was run over by a car, falls off a cliff and into a gigantic waterfall after being chased by evil aliens … well, let’s just assume the first words out of his mouth after he hits the water will not be, “Wow! What a beautiful waterfall.” How many readers want to spend a whole book with a constantly anguished or angry protagonist? We all want someone to root for, not just feel sorry for.

Problem #2: Boredom
Being in a pickle is not inherently exciting. Giving a protagonist a ton of problems to worry about and suffer from does not automatically create conflict and tension. A guy sitting in solitary confinement in a prison cell has big trouble, but watching him pace the floor and mark the days off on the wall is not interesting. Or even tense (for the reader, at least). Why? He can’t solve his problem. All he can do is be miserable. And misery without conflict, action or interaction is kinda boring. (In case Papillon comes to mind as an exception, that was Henri Charriere’s memoir and, arguably, the exciting parts were the escapes, not the scenes where he spit out his rotting teeth in a filthy cell.)

Problem #3: Miraculous Victory
“The Perils of Pauline” told classic damsel-in-distress stories. Sending in some outside force to rescue the protagonist is one way to get him, or her, down from the tree. But if you’re not (intentionally) writing melodrama, you have to figure out a way to have your hero find his own way down from the tree. If you’ve beset your protagonist with continuously mounting (and unsolved) troubles through the whole book – your character is going to have to morph from hapless victim to unstoppable Superman in the last act to get out of the mess by himself. (Okay, Papillon is certainly a breathtaking example of this … but if it hadn’t been an autobiography, who would have believed it?)

So, what does the “up a tree” dictum really tell us to do? This is something we discussed at length in Whistler, and my own personal epiphany was about the purpose of giving your protagonist troubles. It’s not to make him a miserable, complaining victim. It’s to give him something heroic to do. To put him in action. Only by the protagonist’s reaction to his troubles can we get to know what he’s made of.

Ding … the lightbulb went on for me. Give your hero problems he actually can do something about. Then let him show his stuff. Do we really care about a hero who sits up in that tree kvetching and waiting for miracle? No, we want him to be visibly overcoming his fear of heights, planning his escape, throwing apples at the baying dogs below, weaving a rope out of twigs or something … anything! The tougher the problem, the bigger the hero. But if the protagonist is not well matched with the problems to be solved, the writer may have to cheat and resort to miracles or magic, and that could actually diminish the hero.”

[found on http://5writers5novels5months.com/2013/07/01/why-do-we-torture-our-heroes]

Hear MY WRITING roar!!!!

[found on us4.campaign-archive1.com; by Rachelle Gardner]

“Those Annoying Exclamation Points!!!

By Rachelle Gardner on Jul 01, 2013 09:34 pm

Exclamation point

Over many years of editing books, it seems I have become a heartless eliminator of exclamation points!!! Seriously, I developed a hatred for them! People tend to WAY overuse them! Not to mention italics and bold, and that oh-so-effective use of ALL CAPS!!!!!!!

Here’s a hint to avoid coming across as amateur: Use the above devices sparingly in any writing intended for publication. (I’m being specific here, because in blog writing and emails, you’re free to go crazy. I do.)

If you tend to use a plethora of exclamation points, do a search-and-replace in your manuscript and put a period in place of every single one of them. Yep, every one. Then you can go back and add an exclamation point here and there if you really must. But I’m not kidding: VERY . . . SPARINGLY.

Same with other means of artificial emphasis: italics and ALL CAPS. Your writing should be so effective by itself that the emphasis isn’t necessary.

As for bold, don’t ever use it in running text! (It’s OKAY for headers!)

Isn’t THIS irritating??!!”

[found on http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=cde4992358f2badd71896ea0b&id=016b5771a7&e=325ff0e8d3]