Writing Glitch #190

Today’s glitch:


The first sentence needs a comma before but.

The second sentence has the wrong verb. Used in such a way, were says survival is an impossibility, which is obviously not what the writer intended.

It wasn’t winter yet, but it was getting close. He needed to take stock of many things before then if he was to survive.

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Writing Glitch #189

Today’s glitch:


Don’t use all capital letters for emphasis; use italics.

When a new sentence begins after an ellipsis, capitalize the next word; when it’s still in the same sentence, don’t capitalize.

Use a comma before the conjunction in a compound sentence.

I’d change gotten up to stood up; it’s less vague.

Feeds off and devours are saying pretty much the same thing; unless there’s a reason for the repetition, get rid of one.

I’m treating You poor thing as a direct address, which is why I’ve added you after it. Another option would be to treat poor thing as renaming you — still a direct address — in which case no extra word is needed, just a comma: You, poor thing, won’t even know...

Have you ever stood up and your vision suddenly went black? It’s her. She’s temporarily blinding you… making sure you don’t see her. She’s stealing a memory… She devours them. You poor thing, you won’t even know what you lost, and you won’t even see her coming.

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Authors Answer 103 – Top Influencing Books

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

Authors have many influences, and it’s something we’ve talked about before. However, we never did focus on the books themselves. Authors tend to also be avid readers, and a lot of the books we read will influence us, even if it’s subconsciously. But which ones have the strongest influence on our writing and other areas?

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 103 – What do you consider to be the book that has influenced you the most?

H. Anthe Davis

I can’t point to any book that has influenced me sufficiently for this.  If I had to point at anything at all, it would be an anime series — Revolutionary Girl Utena — which fascinated me during my formative teen years and continues to help me get past some of my mental hang-ups.  No books, though; they’re all just part of the big past pile.

Jean Davis

Goodness, there are so many, and the…

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Writing Glitch #188

Today’s glitch:


Supervillain should be written as one word, the same way superhero is.

When used as names, Mom and Dad are capitalized. If you don’t want to capitalize them here, say their mom and dad instead.

Evil and supervillain are sort of redundant, don’t you think?

Also, why is the villain super, but the hero isn’t? That’s not fair. I bet the hero complains bitterly to their parents about it: “You always liked Marcie better! You let her be a super villain, but I’m only allowed to be a regular hero. Look, you’ve even given her a brand-new Supervillain Lair play set, and all I get are a bunch of Eighties-style sweaters… again.”

(Yes, I do have fun writing these things. Why do you ask?)

The supervillain and the hero are siblings. They still have dinner at Mom and Dad’s house for the holidays.

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Writing Glitch #187

Today’s glitch:


If you’re talking about a plural noun, talk about them in the plural: sinkholes are […] portals.

Compound sentences require commas, dammit. (See this face? This is my exasperated-proofreader face.)

Please note that sinkhole is one word.

Sinkholes are now known to be portals to another time and place. All sinkhole locations are now catalogued, but no one has ever returned from one. You volunteer to go next.

I wonder, though, how anyone knows where those sinkhole portals lead, since no one has ever gone into such a portal and returned to tell what’s on the other side. (Sinkhole? No, plot hole!)

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Writing Glitch #186

Today’s glitch:


Want to see how a comma splice can be made into a correct sentence without changing the punctuation at all? Look at what happens when I delete was from the first sentence here:

She was looking forward to the midwinter holiday, the festival in honour of their ancestors.

Now the festival in honour of their ancestors becomes a nonrestrictive appostional phrase (eep! arghh! jargon…!) explaining/expanding on midwinter holiday, rather than a separate (and bland) sentence requiring a period before The festival.

Notice that midwinter is not hyphenated.

The last comma in the second sentence needs to go away:

It would start with a blessing ceremony, an item hunt, and then gift-giving and playing games.

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Should authors write book reviews?

Some people say writers shouldn’t review books (because reasons), but I’ve also heard it said that non-writers shouldn’t review books: “I’m not a writer. I don’t even know how to write a book, so I’m not qualified to say whether a book is good or not.”

Readers are the people books are for. Writers are readers, too (if not, they’re like the proverbial skinny cook), so books are also for us. If writers can’t review books, and non-writers can’t review books, who is left to review all the books?

These things are subjective, friends. “This is a good story” (or “This is not a good story”) is an opinion, no matter whose opinion it is. (Sometimes, “This book is full of grammer error every where, the author don’t know how to write good” is also just an opinion.) Any review is valid as long as it’s what you really think about a book you really did read. It’s nice to say a bit about why you have that opinion (“I dislike this book because the protagonist cussed way too much for my tastes” is a much better review than “This book is terrible!” It could be that some other reader doesn’t mind strong language, or it could be that you pointing out the cussing helps another reader avoid something they don’t want to see, either.)

Over on Insecure Writer’s Support Group, they’ve got a post today giving six reasons why authors should review books.

(WTF, WordPress spell check? Now writers isn’t a word, either? *shakes head*)

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