Category Archives: Lessons Learned

Eat, Sleep, Write, Repeat – That Crucial Comma, Part 3

I’m still busy editing my WIP. It’s nearly finished though, I’ve now printed it out and am working my way through it. I thought I’d only be looking for typos, but everything looks so different on paper, and I find myself changing at least five sentences per two pages (I printed two pages on a paper to save paper). But enough talk about my work, here’s the last part about commas for you to improve your work.

That Crucial Comma – Part 3

comma_W700

Use a comma near the end of a sentence to separate contrasted coordinate elements or to indicate a distinct pause or shift / to offset negation in a sentence

 Example: I read a romance, not a thriller, last weekend.

In this case, you still need the comma if the negation occurs at the end of the sentence.

Example: I read a romance, not a thriller.

Use a comma to separate a statement from a question.

Example: I can write, can’t I?

Use a comma to separate contrasting parts of a sentence.

Example: That is my book, not yours.

Also, use commas when any distinct shift occurs in the sentence or thought process.

Example: That was a fantasy story, perhaps even a dark fantasy one.

Use commas to set off expressions that interrupt the sentence flow (nevertheless, after all, by the way, on the other hand, however, etc.).

Example: I am, by the way, sure about this.

Use commas to set off all geographical names, items in dates (except the month and day), and addresses (except the street number and name)

Example: September 11, 2001, was a scary day.

Even if you add a weekday, keep the comma after 2001.

Example: Tuesday, September 11, 2001, was a scary day.

Example: Tuesday, September 11, was a scary day.

You don’t need to add a comma when the sentence mentions only the month and year.

Example: September 2001 was a scary month.

Example: I work at 666 Park Ave. South, New York, N.Y. 60606.

Example: Portland, Maine, is a wonderful city.

Use a comma to shift between the main discourse and a quotation

If attribution comes before the quote, place the comma outside the quotations marks.

Example: The reader said, “I read a book.”

If attribution comes after the quote, put the comma inside the quotation marks.

Example: “I read a book,” said the reader.

If the attribution is within the quote, put the first comma within the first quotation marks and the second comma immediately after the attribution, outside of the second quotation marks.

Example: “Why,” I asked, “won’t you tell me?”

If a quotation functions as a subject or object in a sentence, it might not need a comma.

Example: Is ‘I don’t mind’ all you can say to me?

If a quoted question ends in midsentence, the question mark replaces a comma.

Example: “Will you still be my friend?” she asked.

Use commas wherever necessary to prevent possible confusion or misreading

Example: I called you my darling.

Example: I called you, my darling.

Use a comma after certain words that introduce a sentence, such as well, yes, why, hello, hey, etc.

Example: Why, I can’t believe you!

Example: No, you can’t have a raise.

Use a comma before and after certain introductory words or terms, such as namely, that is, i.e., e.g., and for instance, when they are followed by a series of items.

Example: You may be required to bring many items, e.g., sleeping bag, tent, and a mat.

A comma should precede the term etc. Many authorities also recommend a comma after etc. when it is placed midsentence.

Example: You may be required to bring many items, e.g., sleeping bag, tent, mat, etc.

(Please note there is no extra full stop when the sentence ends with an abbreviation ending in a full stop)

Example: Sleeping bag, tent, a mat, etc., are required.

Use a comma to set off the name, nickname, term of endearment, or title of a person directly addressed

Example: My boss often asks, “Jody, is that article up yet?”

Example: Will you, Aisha, do that assignment for me?

Example: Yes, old friend, I will.

Example: Good day, Captain.

Traditionally, if a person’s name is followed by Sr. or Jr., a comma follows the last name.

Example:  Martin Luther King, Jr.

This comma is no longer considered mandatory. However, if a comma does precede Sr. or Jr., another comma must follow the entire name when it appears midsentence.

Correct: Al Capone Sr. is here.

Correct: Al Capone, Sr., is here.

Incorrect: Al Capone, Sr. is here.

Similarly, use commas to enclose degrees or titles used with names.

Example: Al Mooney, M.D., is here.

Use commas before every sequence of three numbers when writing a number larger than 999

(Two exceptions are writing years and house numbers)

Example: 10,000 or 1,304,687.

Have a Wonderful Writing Weekend!

Sources:
http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/commas.asp
http://www.businessinsider.com/a-guide-to-proper-comma-use-2013-9?IR=T

Another Short Story – Darlene’s Delectable Dishes

Alliteration

I’ll be trying to focus our Writers’ Club writing exercises on grammatical issues for the foreseeing future and this week we focussed on alliteration. I thought alliteration was the repetition of the first letter of a word as the first letter of the next word. You know, Peter Parker, I saw a see-saw sitting on a see-saw, dead as a door-nail. That kind of thing. How wrong was I? (This last sentence is an Australian form of rhetoric and isn’t a question at all. But more on rhetorics next week).

It appears, according to my oh so trusted Wikipedia, that an alliteration is a special form of consonance, in which a consonant sound is repeated in another word. This consonant can be anywhere in the word. Alliteration is a special kind of consonance, in which the consonant is in the stressed syllable. So, it doesn’t have to be the first letter at all.  Learned something again. Not that I used this knowledge when I wrote my short story…

It’s a fact that alliteration makes a text more pleasant to read and easier to remember. You can do it too much though, and this is called a paroemion. My short story (look; another alliteration 🙂 ), Darlene’s Delectable Dishes, certainly is a paroemion. Check it out!

 

Eat, Sleep, Write, Repeat – The Independent and Dependent Clauses

Today, I thought I’d rehash my post on commas but then realized you need to understand what dependent and independent clauses are first. When I read indie author’s work, I often find they don’t always know what the difference is. Hence, here is my old post from February 2016 again. I have updated it slightly and made sure all links are active (at least the ones mentioned in the text).

The Independent and Dependent Clauses

When I first read about ‘the clause’ I had to suppress a giggle. With no literary education apart from my high school English, the only clause I had ever heard of was, of course, Santa Clause. But as I read on, I realized how important the clause is, and I admit I have made many mistakes regarding this little-but-oh-so-important part of literature. I will try to give you a simplified explanation of ‘the clause’ and will start with the ‘independent clause’ vs. the ‘dependent clause.’

Easter Egg 3png

For those who don’t know (yet), the clause is the smallest way to make a sentence; it contains a subject and a verb. I walk. They sat. We read. These are all sentences made by a single clause. They contain a subject and a verb. You can have one or two clauses in a sentence and, if you’re wise with words, even more. Have a look at this 239-words sentence, it’s amazing! (You’ll have to search for it on this website, just enter ‘239 words sentence’ into the search function and follow the prompts).

Every sentence must have at least one (main) clause otherwise, you will have something called a fragment, which is, obviously, not a sentence.

Example of one clause: We drank a lot of wine. (We = subject; drank = verb)

Example of two clauses: We drank a lot of wine, and we danced all night. (We, we = subjects; drank, danced = verbs)

Example of three clauses: We drank a lot of wine, although I didn’t really like the vintage, and we danced all night. (We, I, we = subjects; drank, didn’t like, danced = verbs)

Example of a fragment: Drank a lot of wine. (? = subject; drank = verb; hence no clause)

Clauses can be independent or dependent/subordinate.

An independent clause can make a sentence on its own.

Example: We drank a lot of wine.

dependent/subordinate clause can’t stand on its own; it is dependent on an independent clause.

ExampleBecause we drank a lot of wine, we danced all night.

The underlined first clause in the above example is now a dependent clause as because we drank a lot of wine is not a proper sentence on its own; because of this, something happens, i.e. we danced all night. Because we danced all night can be a separate sentence on its own it is an independent clause. We drank a lot of wine would have been an independent clause, but because we added because to it, it isn’t any longer. It now is dependent on the independent clause we danced all night, and hence is now a depended clause. Confused yet?

Connecting independent clauses

You can connect two independent clauses in three ways;

  • with coordinating conjunctions. They are: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so; or FANBOYS.
  • with a semicolon (;) or colon (:)
  • with a semicolon, a transition word, and a comma (Example: I like wine; however, I don’t like dry wines) (see this page for transition words like after, as although, unless, and more, too many to mention 🙂 , so check out this page)

Connecting a dependent clause to an independent clause

You can connect a dependent clause to an independent clause in two ways: by using a subordinate conjunction or a relative pronoun.

Subordinate conjunction

You use another type of conjunction to connect a dependent/subordinate clause to an independent clause; the subordinate conjunction (although, as, because, etc.). You can find a list of the most used subordinate conjunctions here.

You can start the sentence with the independent clause or with the dependent clause. If using the former, don’t use a comma to combine the two clauses. When using the latter, separate the two clauses with a comma. These two last sentences here are good examples of the latter sentence structure (dependent before independent clause).

Example of former: We danced all night because we drank a lot of wine. (dependent clause first, so no comma)

By the way, there is a fine line between transition words and conjunctions. Some words can even be used as both. Have a look at this page for further information.

Relative pronoun

Another way to connect a dependent clause to an independent clause is with a relative pronoun; that, which, whichever, who, whoever, whom, whomever, whose, and of which. These words take over the role of the subject in the dependent clause and integrate the conjunction word. Look at the next two examples.

Example 1: We drank a lot of wine, but the wine was horrible, and we danced all night.

Example 2: We drank a lot of wine, which was horrible, and we danced all night.

In the second example which takes the place of the conjunction but and the noun wine from the first example. which was horrible is not an independent clause, it is dependent on we drank a lot of wine and refers to the word wine.

Have a Wonderful Writing Week(end)!

Websites used to compile this text:
http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/clauses.htm
http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/clause.htm
http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/run-on.htm
http://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-dependent-clauses.html
https://www.sbcc.edu/clrc/files/wl/downloads/IndependentandDependentClauses.pdf
https://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/grammar_subordinate.html
http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/parts-of-speech/conjunctions/subordinating-conjunctions.html
http://www.insegnanti-inglese.com/grammar-1/conjunctions-transitions.html

Lessons Learned #36

This is the last time I’ll be rambling on about commas! I hope I have made things a bit clearer about the comma and you won’t have a problem conveying what you want properly in a sentence now 🙂 .

That Crucial Comma – Part 3

Use a comma near the end of a sentence to separate contrasted coordinate elements or to indicate a distinct pause or shift / to offset negation in a sentence

 Example: I saw a dog, not a bird, when I went walking.

In this case, you still need the comma if the negation occurs at the end of the sentence.

Example: I saw a bird, not a dog.

Use a comma to separate a statement from a question.

Example: I can leave, can’t I?

Use a comma to separate contrasting parts of a sentence.

Example: That is my stuff, not yours.

Also use commas when any distinct shift occurs in the sentence or thought process.

Example: The cloud looked like an animal, perhaps a puppy.

Use commas to set off expressions that interrupt the sentence flow (nevertheless, after all, by the way, on the other hand, however, etc.).

Example: I am, by the way, not sure about this.

Use commas to set off all geographical names, items in dates (except the month and day), addresses (except the street number and name)

Example: March 15, 2013, was a scary day.

Even if you add a weekday, keep the comma after ‘2013.’

Example: Friday, March 15, 2013, was a scary day.

Example: Friday, March 15, was a scary day.

You don’t need to add a comma when the sentence mentions only the month and year.

Example: March 2013 was a scary month.

Example: I work at 666 Park Ave. South, New York, N.Y. 60606.

Example: Cleveland, Ohio, is a wonderful city.

Use a comma to shift between the main discourse and a quotation

If attribution comes before the quote, place the comma outside the quotations marks.

Example: The walker said, “I saw a dog.”

If attribution comes after the quote, put the comma inside the quotation marks.

Example: “I saw a dog,” said the walker.

If the attribution is within the quote, put the first comma within the first quotation marks and the second comma immediately after the attribution, outside of the second quotation marks.

“Why,” I asked, “won’t you tell me?”

If a quotation functions as a subject or object in a sentence, it might not need a comma.

Example: Is ‘I don’t mind’ all you can say to me?

If a quoted question ends in midsentence, the question mark replaces a comma.

Example: “Will you still be my friend?” she asked.

Use commas wherever necessary to prevent possible confusion or misreading

Example: I called you my darling.

Example: I called you, my darling.

Use a comma after certain words that introduce a sentence, such as well, yes, why, hello, hey, etc.

Example: Why, I can’t believe you!

Example: No, you can’t have a raise.

Use a comma before and after certain introductory words or terms, such as namely, that is, i.e., e.g., and for instance, when they are followed by a series of items.

Example: You may be required to bring many items, e.g., sleeping bag, tent, and a mat.

A comma should precede the term etc. Many authorities also recommend a comma after etc. when it is placed midsentence.

Example: Sleeping bag, tent, a mat, etc., are required.

Use a comma to set off the name, nickname, term of endearment, or title of a person directly addressed

Example: My boss often asks, “Jody, is that article up yet?”

Example: Will you, Aisha, do that assignment for me?

Example: Yes, old friend, I will.

Example: Good day, Captain.

Traditionally, if a person’s name is followed by Sr. or Jr., a comma follows the last name.

Example:  Martin Luther King, Jr.

This comma is no longer considered mandatory. However, if a comma does precede Sr. or Jr., another comma must follow the entire name when it appears midsentence.

Correct: Al Capone Sr. is here.

Correct: Al Capone, Sr., is here.

Incorrect: Al Capone, Sr. is here.

Similarly, use commas to enclose degrees or titles used with names.

Example: Al Mooney, M.D., is here.

Use commas before every sequence of three numbers when writing a number larger than 999

(Two exceptions are writing years and house numbers)

Example: 10,000 or 1,304,687.

Have a Wonderful Writing Weekend!

Sources:

http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/commas.asp

http://www.businessinsider.com/a-guide-to-proper-comma-use-2013-9?IR=T

Lessons Learned #34

That crucial comma

Even though the comma is such a tiny thing, it holds enormous power, able to completely change a sentence.

Just before I put my novel ‘Living Like A Vampire’ online on Amazon, I threw it through Grammarly. So glad I did. And do you know what? About 95% of the problems that needed to be rectified were comma placements. I got so frustrated with it, that I went online and did some research. I now have four pages of info on when and where to place commas. This is a bit much, so I’ll split the info. The first lesson will be on the placement of commas between independent and dependent clauses.

Use commas to separate independent clauses when they are joined by any of these seven coordinating conjunctions: and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet.

Example: I had a coffee, and I had a donut.

If the subject does not appear in front of the second verb, a comma is generally unnecessary.

Example: I had a coffee and had a donut.

But sometimes a comma in this situation is necessary to avoid confusion.

Confusing: I saw that he was leaving and had a donut.

Clearer with comma: I saw that he was leaving, and had a donut.

Without a comma, the reader is liable to think that ‘he’ was the one who had a donut.

Some writers omit the comma if the clauses are both quite short.

Example: I drink and he eats.

Many inexperienced writers run two independent clauses together by using a comma instead of a period. This results in the dreaded run-on sentence or, more technically, a comma splice.

Incorrect: He ate all the donuts, he drank all the wine.

There are several simple remedies:

Correct: He ate all the donuts. He drank all the wine.

Correct: After he ate all the donuts, he drank all the wine.

Correct: He ate all the donuts, and he drank all the wine.

Use commas after dependent clauses and introductory clauses, phrases, words or adverbs that come before the main (independent) clause.

When starting a sentence with a dependent clause, use a comma after it. A comma is usually unnecessary when the sentence starts with an independent clause followed by a dependent clause.

Example: If you aren’t staying for dinner, let me know now.

Example: Let me know if you aren’t staying for dinner.

Follow the same policy with introductory phrases.

Example: Having finally decided on the menu, we ordered our meals.

Example: We ordered our meals having finally decided on the menu.

However, if the introductory phrase is clear and brief (three or four words), the comma is optional.

Example: When in town we go partying.

But always add a comma if it would avoid confusion.

Example: Last Sunday, evening classes were cancelled.

(The comma prevents a misreading.)

When an introductory phrase begins with a preposition, a comma may not be necessary even if the phrase contains more than three or four words.

Example: Into the sparkling pink champagne she gazed.

If such a phrase contains more than one preposition, a comma may be used unless a verb immediately follows the phrase.

Example: Between your red wine on the left and my white wine on the right, the man’s beer glass stood proudly.

Example: Between your red wine  on the left and my white wine on the right stood the man’s beer glass.

Also insert a comma when “however” starts a sentence, too. Phrases like “on the other hand” and “furthermore” also fall into this category. Starting a sentence with “however,” however, is discouraged by many careful writers. A better method would be to use “however” within a sentence after the phrase you want to negate, as in the previous sentence.

Many adverbs end in “ly” and answer the question “how?” How did someone do something? How did something happen?

Example: Majestically, he walked up to me.

Have a Wonderful Writing Weekend!

Sources:

http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/commas.asp

http://www.businessinsider.com/a-guide-to-proper-comma-use-2013-9?IR=T

Lessons Learned #31

Ergonomics for Writers

Because it’s important!

http://theworldsgreatestbook.com/writing-ergonomics/

http://productivewriters.com/2011/09/12/writing-ergonomics-posture-alignment-writer/

https://windr0se.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/ergonomics-for-writers/

Ergonomics for Writerly Folk

 

 

Lessons Learned #30

I had no idea what to write all week in my Lessons Learned, until I reached the point in my book where girl gets boy. And they go to bed for the first time. And they have sex. There, I’ve said it, the ‘S’-word. Sex! It has been such a taboo, until ’50 Shades of Grey’ came out and now it’s okay to read and talk about it (thank you, E.L. James!).

Konstantin_Somov_A_Kiss_1914.jpg

Before we go on, I’d like to make you understand what  the difference is between erotica and porn. Absolutely nothing. If you Google ‘erotic definition’ you get “relating to or tending to arouse sexual desire or excitement.” If you Google ‘pornography definition’ you get “printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate sexual excitement.” So apart from the display of sexual organs perhaps, both are intended to stimulate sexual arousal. By the way, the letters in the heading are letters from the ‘nineteenth-century erotic alphabet,’ to be found on Wiki Commons. If you take Google literally, this is actually porn. A few descriptions of the difference of the two that sprung out in my research were ‘the height of the book shelf,’ ‘what he wants and what she wants’ and ‘it depends on the lighting.’ You decide what you call it.

Should you write about sex? Absolutely! It happens in everyday life, it’s the essence of our existence; no sex, no life. I must admit, I like to call my sex scenes ‘love scenes’ as I think that is what I write about. I don’t put it in as something gratuitous to rake up the audience numbers, as so many tv series seem to do nowadays. My son of fourteen has seen more sex on tv than I had when I was twenty-one. The business of written erotica also has never been so good! Since we can read whatever ‘anonymously’ on our tablet, without the tell-tale cover visible to all around us, the world is your oyster.

So how to write a good sex scene? That takes just as much thinking as any other scene in your story. Obviously there are the clichés to be avoided, like naming the sexual organs (unless you write hard core porn perhaps). Less is more. Don’t forget we are writing, not making a movie. The reader has their own imagination and all you have to do is to suggest, leave it up to them on what it looks like. Reading up on how to film a sex scene a while back, they said that close-ups of body parts are more arousing than the actual deed. Her hand gripping the sheets, his halter of breath, her moan as his head went below her navel, that kind of stuff. As the majority of erotica readers are older than forty-five, explicit description of the deed is like telling somebody how to eat.

VenusWillendorf.jpg

Another thing that is important in sex scenes is reality. People have sex as an affirmation of their emotional attraction to each other, no matter their looks. Well, normally, so let’s stick with that. While making love they explore each other’s bodies, so why not describe that. Not everybody is perfect and that’s okay. Let your protagonist caress that mole, tickle that flabby belly, kiss those stretch marks. It makes it all more believable. Readers should be able to relate and feel good about themselves, not feel too ugly to have sex themselves!

Last but not least, if what you write doesn’t do anything for you, the writer, it’s not working. If you can’t feel anything, what makes you think your reader would feel something? I live and breath my characters; I am happy when they laugh, I mourn when they die, and I get aroused when they make love. My husband isn’t complaining, if that is anything to go by 🙂 . Give it a try, it may spice up your love life too!

Have a Wonderful (and Sexy) Writing Weekend!

Lessons Learned #29

American vs. British English

When I decided to set my novels in Maine, US, I had no idea yet that I had to change my UK English to US English as well. When I sent my first draft (first fifteen or so chapters) to a friend of mine, she noted that I needed to ‘Americanize’ my English. For example, I had used ‘pound shop’ instead of ‘dollar shop,’ which of course needed to become ‘thrift store’ to be more accurate to what I had in mind (also known as ‘op shop’ for the Australians amongst us). There were many more words I needed to change, like mobile phone needed to become cell, drive needed to become driveway and car park needed to become parking lot.

america-vs-uk.jpg

According to an article I found on a website, the American English differs from British English in vocabulary (of which I just gave a few examples), grammar and spelling. One of the grammar issues I noted in this article (of whom the name of the writer eludes me) is that of differences in possession. Apparently it is very British to say ‘Have you got any wine?’ The Americans would say ‘Do you have any wine?’ There were so many times I put the word ‘got’ in my own text! It came as a bit of a surprise to me how British I am 🙂 .

Fortunately there are many websites that will give you the American version of British words. The only thing I wasn’t sure of was the saying of ‘The car didn’t move and inch.’ Do the Americans still use this expression, even though they use the metric system for distances?

Fortunately you can switch to US English in Word and all your British ‘mistakes’ will be pointed out for you, in particular the verbs that need to have a ‘z’ instead of an ‘s’ in the past tense, like ‘legalized’ and ‘motorized.’ It looks weird at first, but soon you get used to it and it becomes automatic. It surprised me that I am now able  to write American without thinking about it. It’s like writing in another language; you do or you don’t, there is no mix up of the two. Sure, I don’t know every single word, but hey, long live the internet!

doors-shut-and-open

I heard some people don’t like reading American English, or British English for that matter. Why? Wouldn’t it be incredibly strange to read a cowboy saying ‘see you in a jiffy’? And when somebody in London talks about their ‘cell,’ the first thing that comes to my mind is a terrorist group. Stick to your culture, I have no problem with that, but be open to others’. Not wanting to read in the ‘other’ language is like shutting down half the library. What a waste!

I had hoped to embed a little You Tube video of Michael McIntyre here, where he explains why American English is different from British English, but my free wordpress subscription won’t let me. It is very funny though and I don’t want to deprive you of it. Just go to You Tube, type in or copy ‘Americans Don’t Understand English – The Jonathan Ross Show’ and enjoy!

Have a Wonderful Writing Weekend!

Lessons Learned #28

When I began writing I ‘told’ the reader about the inner emotions of my characters, instead of ‘showing’ them. I would write ‘I was feeling anxious’ or ‘I was so angry!’ I have learned that this is not the way to go. I am currently going through my first book and trying to pick out those situations where I ‘told’ and try to convert them into ones where I ‘show.’

I found that my vocabulary is rather limited. I use the word ‘look’ a lot. He looked at me, I looked at him, we looked each other in the eye… Eyes are a big thing in my book 🙂 . I realised that I needed to widen my scope and write something more varied to keep my readers (and myself!) happy. So I downloaded lists of alternatives/synonyms from Pinterest. Never would I have thought that Pinterest would come in so handy for a writer…

Although I found a list with about 150 different ways to say ‘look,’ I found that most of them were unusable. Who writes ‘he looked askance’ or ‘my eyes had a gander’ (or however you’re supposed to use this word). Most of the words didn’t portray what I wanted to say, which was ‘look.’ There were a few though, like ‘saw,’ ‘glance,’ and ‘glimpse,’ which are okay, but four words don’t mean variety.

So here I was, stuck in my re-write. I knew what was wrong, but I didn’t know how to fix it. Then the lightbulb appeared above my head. I needed to use more body language! I needed to integrate the whole face, the whole body in the description. Which meant I needed to know what people did, how they changed, when showing certain emotions.

Now I’m not the best emotional expert. I can’t read people like a book and usually people find me very blunt in return. So I needed help, lots of it. I tried to study people when I was out and about, which isn’t very often. Unfortunately my brain doesn’t always cooperate and kept drifting off instead of doing its homework.

Then today, after cursing at my slow internet connection and not getting the websites on body language as fast as my impatient self wanted, I remembered I once bought a book called ‘Body language at work,’ by Peter Clayton. It isn’t the most varied piece of work, but it does the trick for me at the moment. It talks about zones and clusters, about trust and assertiveness, about doubt, disbelief and lies. Even about attraction between the two sexes. All the things that I need for my book!

Frog.jpg

I’m not saying that you need to buy this book. However, if you are like me and a bit of a frog in the ’emotion’ department, buy a book on body language and read it. It is extremely interesting to read about how people conform to standard principles. And most amazing when you see it happening in real life around you! It’s almost as entertaining as reading a book…

Have a Wonderful Writing Weekend!

Lessons Learned #27

Quote on Learning.jpg

I’m sorry, but I have not ‘learned’ much this week as I have been very busy on my re-write (following Jim Rohn’s suggestion 🙂 ). The odd bits and bobs that I did find remarkable are the following:

  • I write best in the morning. My evening writes are almost always corrected the next day
  • I can write with and without music in the background
  • I am a sucker for television. Whenever my son asks me to come watch Dexter (love that series!)  I’m off
  • After I re-write a chapter I throw it through ProWritingAid and only use the following nowadays, which I think does help improve my writing:
    • Vague and Abstract Words Check (to make my writing more interesting)
    • Overused Words Check (ditto)
    • Repeats Check (ditto)
    • Writing Style Check (to get rid of passive verbs)
    • Pronoun Check (to prevent three or more sentences starting with ‘I’)
  • I eat more whilst editing than when I’m writing 🙁
  • I used the word ‘got’ an awful lot of times when I wrote my first book. I’m 100% sure my vocabulary has improved since!

That’s it this week…

Hope you have a Happy Writing Weekend!