When I first started writing my grammar was really poor. I had the basic’s down but things like comma’s after a name, capitalizations for names and places or paragraphs were not my strong point. Which explains why I received so many rejections when I first started submitting books to publishing houses. It wasn’t until I came across a writing contest that I was given the help I needed. The editor with Linden Bay Romance, (No longer running) Barbara Perfetti was great with me. She sent back my entry with reasons why it wasn’t chosen as number one and gave me plenty of links to help hone in on my craft. She encouraged me to submit more of my work, stating I had a good story but my writing needed working on. So I did. Without her help, I wouldn’t be here today. So as I go on in my career as an author, I like to help out other newbie’s in any way I can.
That is what my blog post is about today. Helping others. Below are some things I still struggle with in my writing and I thought I would help anyone who, like me, is still confused. I hope this helps.
Another great place to go to help you work on your writing is Avoid Writers Hell http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Avoid_Writers_Hell/
Faith Bicknell-Brown, founder of AWH is a great editor who provides lessons on everything writing. She also has editing books out that might interest the newbie or even the veteran writer. You can find them all at http://faithbicknellbrown.com/books/howtoavoidwriters-hell/
|Effective Writing Tips|
|Use concrete rather than vague language.|
|Examples:||Vague:||The weather was of an extreme nature on the west coast.|
|Concrete:||California had very cold weather last week.
|Use active voice whenever possible. Active voice means the subject is performing the verb.|
|Examples:||Active:||Barry hit the ball.|
|Passive:||The ball was hit.
Notice that the responsible party may not even appear when using passive voice.
|Avoid overusing there is, there are, it is, it was, and so on.|
|Example:||There is a case of meningitis that was reported in the newspaper.|
|Correction:||A case of meningitis was reported in the newspaper.|
|Even Better:||The newspaper reported a case of meningitis. (Active voice)|
|Example:||It is important to signal before making a left turn.|
|Correction:||Signaling before making a left turn is important.
Signaling before a left turn is important.
You should signal before making a left turn. (Active voice)
|Example:||There are some revisions which must be made.|
|Correction:||Some revisions must be made.|
|Even Better:||Please make some revisions. (Active voice)|
|To avoid confusion, don’t use two negatives to make a positive.|
|Incorrect:||He is not unwilling to help.|
|Correct:||He is willing to help.|
|Use similar grammatical form when offering several ideas. This is called parallel construction.|
|Correct:||You should check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation.|
|Incorrect:||You should check your spelling, grammar, and punctuating.|
|If you start a sentence with an action, place the actor immediately after or you will have created the infamous dangling modifier.|
|Incorrect:||While walking across the street, the bus hit her.|
|Correct:||While walking across the street, she was hit by a bus.
She was hit by a bus while walking across the street.
|Place modifiers near the words they modify.|
|Incorrect:||I have some pound cake Mollie baked in my lunch bag.|
|Correct:||In my lunch bag, I have some pound cake that Mollie baked.|
|A sentence fragment occurs when you have only a phrase or weak clause but are missing a strong clause.|
|Example of Sentence Fragment:||After the show ended.|
|Example of Sentence:||After the show ended, we had coffee.|
Who vs Which vs That
|Who refers to people. That and which refer to groups or things.|
|Examples:||Anya is the one who rescued the bird.|
|Lokua is on the team that won first place.|
|She belongs to an organization that specializes in saving endangered species.|
|That introduces essential clauses while which introduces nonessential clauses.|
|Examples:||I do not trust products that claim “all natural ingredients” because this phrase can mean almost anything.|
|We would not know which products were being discussed without the that clause.|
|The product claiming “all natural ingredients,” which appeared in the Sunday newspaper, is on sale.
|The product is already identified. Therefore, which begins a nonessential clause.|
|NOTE:||Essential clauses do not have commas surrounding them while nonessential clauses are surrounded by commas.|
|If this, that, these, or those has already introduced an essential clause, you may use which to introduce the next clause, whether it is essential or nonessential.|
|Examples:||That is a decision which you must live with for the rest of your life.|
|Those ideas, which we’ve discussed thoroughly enough, do not need to be addressed again.|
|NOTE:||Often, you can streamline your sentence by leaving out which.|
|Example:||That is a decision which you must live with for the rest of your life.|
|Better:||That is a decision you must live with for the rest of your life.
Provided by http://www.grammarbook.com/grammar/effWrite.asp
This is a great place for learning everything about writing.