Follow Me, True Reader

Daily fix to use IMG_5088
[image found on Google, not property of EditingAddict.com]

 

“This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety.

Now listen.

I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings.

It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony.

I use short sentences.

And I use sentences of medium length.

And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals—sounds that say listen to this, it is important.”

— Gary Provost

 

Advertisements

Under [sentence] Construction

Edward D. Johnson on sentence construction:

 

“Write in whole sentences, not in fragments….The fragment is easy to see in I discovered the overalls. When I was ladling out the chowder. The second “sentence” is merely a dependent clause of the first sentence and shouldn’t be separated from it by a period; in this example even a separating comma would be wrong (the when clause is a defining construction; see Rule 2-1)….

Such fragments are surprisingly common…after all, it’s hard to see what isn’t there…

…and it’s what isn’t there that makes a sentence or clause a fragment. Whenever something seems wrong with a sentence but it’s not clear what, check for fragments.”

 

Johnson’s book, The Handbook of Good English, is an excellent resource for writers of all kinds. You can find it here.

Be Thou Funny; Nay, Hilarious!

[found on thewritepractice.com; by Joe Bunting]

Joe Bunting’s Commandments to Writing Funny”

“1. Thou Shalt Not Worry About Offending

First and most important, if you’re overly concerned about what others will think, don’t try your hand at funny . . . . stay true to your voice and integrity.

2. Thou Shalt Pay Attention to the Mundane

Jerry Seinfield wasn’t funny because he could do impersonations, or was overly animated or creative. He was funny because he told the truth about the mundane….

3. Thou Shalt Take Clichés to Extremes

…when there was report after report about the Occupy Movement marching on streets all over the nation, I wrote Occupy Marches on Sesame Street—twentysomething angst taking on the puppets who lied to them first.

Taking cliches to the extreme is the bedrock to satire.

4. Thou Shalt Use Metaphors and Similes Like the Bubonic Plague

(First, see Commandments 1 and 3.) Metaphors and similes are to funny as Hugh Grant is to romantic comedy.”

To read the entire article by Joe Bunting, click here.

[found on http://thewritepractice.com/four-commandments-to-writing-funny/]

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]

Write A Personal Bio

[found on blog.brandyourself.com; by ]

“1. Make three versions: short, medium and long. 

Most of the time, someone else will dictate the length of your bio. They will likely tell you how many words you can use to ensure that yours is the same length as other bios. Because of this, one bio will not do. You need three bios:

    • One sentence bio
    • 100 word bio
    • 250 word bio

Each bio has its place. You will save you time and energy when the time comes time to post it, and establish consistency between every professional bio about you that is published.

2. Introduce yourself as if you’re meeting a stranger.

Lead in with your name. People need to know who you are before they hear what you’re all about.

3. Immediately state what you do.

If you are “Portrait Photographer,” don’t wait until the last moment to say it. Your most important details should go in the first sentence. Remember: people on the web rarely read more than the first and last sentence.

4. Touch upon your most important accomplishments.

Don’t list them, and make sure they fit. A bio is not a resume; it is simply a quick summary of who you are. If you have space, mention them. If not, ignore them.”

To see the rest of the ideas on writing a personal bio, click here.

[found on http://blog.brandyourself.com/how-tos/8-tips-on-how-to-write-a-personal-biography]

Be Passive The Writing Must Not

[found on bookcoaching.com; by Judy Cullins]

“Stop passive sentence construction.

When you write in passive voice, your writing slides along into long sentences that slow your readers down, even bore them.

Before you put your final stamp of approval on your writing, circle all the “is,” “was” and other passive verbs like: begin, start to, seems, appears, have, and could. Use your grammar check to count your passives. Aim for 2-4% only.

Instead of, ”Make sure that your name is included on all your household accounts and investments.” Passive culprits include “Make” and “is included.” Create more clarity with this revision,” Include your name on all household accounts and investments to keep your own credit alive after your divorce.”

For more tips on writing from Judy Cullins, click here.

[found on http://bookcoaching.com/wp/non-fiction-book-writing-solutions]

River Boat Writer

“The process of writing a novel is like taking a journey by boat. You have to continually set yourself on course. If you get distracted or allow yourself to drift, you will never make it to the destination. It’s not like highly defined train tracks or a highway; this is a path that you are creating discovering. The journey is your narrative. Keep to it and there will be a tale told.” 

― Walter Mosley, This Year You Write Your Novel