Sunday, July 10, 2011

New Dog - Old tricks

I am new in the area of writing with a focus on publishing. One thing I have realized as I move forward is that I have forgotten so much about grammar, punctuation and the English language. It surprised me that the smallest things niggled at me. I should know this stuff. I realize this is the first draft and finishing should be the goal. I can't help going back if only to remember where I had been with the story and where I was going. Fact checking so to speak. That is where those glaring fundamental faux pas raise their hands and say "look at me!"

Writing dialog is one area of focus that I need to watch, combining descriptive text with dialog and how paragraphs work, dialog tags - you know the drill. The good thing about dialog is that not everyone speaks in a grammatically correct manner as I so often remind my inner critic.

How about when to use a hyphen versus ellipses? Small stuff that is not so small considering this is fundamental language arts. I can go back and fix it later but it still jumps out at me as I review.

A writer should know how to write yes? The mechanics of writing and understanding them should be in a writer's basic tool kit. Luckily Google is your friend especially when you are stuck somewhere in your plot and need a diversion.

Never stop learning or honing your skills.


  1. Nah, you learn as you work. You figure it out. The important part is to just get the story out.

    It's sort of like saying a writer should know how to spell. I can't to save my life. Only after much practice, studying my mistakes as revealed by spell checker, have I even come close to learning how to spell.

  2. Thankfully I can spell. I do know the best thing is to just write the story. I could turn off the spelling and grammar check but I will still go back and read what I have to kick start where I want to go next and they jump out at me anyway. You know when you are reading a clumsy paragraph.

    I read somewhere that turning the monitor off and just writing can cure things like this.

  3. LOL! Speaking as a comma whore, I am struggling with the mechanics on a daily basis. I am trying REALLY hard to improve. Even doing work sheets. Yes, the fun of being married to a teacher.

    As for ellipsis', I went apeshit over those as well. My editor told me you only use ellipsis if thought or dialogue is interrupted by someone else, other than that it is a dash.

    "I really want to taste every inch of your skin starting with..."

    "No!" she screamed,"Keep those lips to yourself!"


    "I really want to taste every inch of your skin starting with-" he paused, contemplating which body part he wanted first.
    Is the editor right? Dang, I should check!

  4. You know I think I read that about ellipses vs. dashes, when to use them. Of course I don't remember which site I found that info. You are lucky to have a teacher for a spouse although I am laughing about the worksheets. I have no doubt they are helping.

    Can I say I love those examples?


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