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Writing Tips

6 Basic Comma Rules

– Posted in: Writing Tips

I have two good reasons: First, I recently had a group critique the first chapter of my novel, and some of them gave advice on comma usage. The only problem was some gave wrong advice. Second, my daughter has been asking me to write about commas because she gets confused about when to and when

Lay Versus Lie: How to Keep Them Straight

– Posted in: Writing Tips

“Writing in English is like throwing mud at a wall.” ― Joseph Conrad English is a beautiful, rich language, full of possibilities. Sometimes it's frustrating. Have you ever felt as if you wanted to stand on top of a tower and scream? For some people, knowing when to use lay or lie can bring out

Ending a Sentence with a Preposition: Yea or Nay?

– Posted in: Writing Tips

Everyone knows you shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition. All or most of your English teachers told you. Right? So, is it true? No, but most people seem to think it's true. This rule does apply to Latin, which is where many hard and fast English "rules" come from. Yep, I wrote that sentence

Writing Tip: “A Lot” Is Two Words!

– Posted in: Writing Tips

You guessed it: writing "a lot" as one word. I know. I know. "A lot" is written as one word all over the place, including the Internet. But that doesn't mean it's one word. It means people don't know better. Since you are reading a blog post about writing tips, I'm guessing you care about

Writing Tip #5: Do You Know When to Use That Instead of Which?

– Posted in: Writing Tips

Have you ever been confused about when you should use the word that instead of which? Or when to use which instead of that? The wrong usage of these words is common. And, yeah, it's common to be confused. A lot of professional writers seem to be confused about this and often use these words incorrectly. In the

Writing Tip # 4: A Commonsense Writing Strategy

– Posted in: Writing Tips

“Reading your own material aloud forces you to listen.” Stephen Ambrose. This is so basic it hardly seems necessary to say, but often,the simple strategies are overlooked. Read your prose aloud. This is one of the single most important acts for any writer. Read slowly; Say every word written on the page; Listen because you