We've got a fairly complex question this time, with more than one example. A friend of mine, also a writer, is having some trouble with modifying clauses, also called modifying phrases. Modifiers, as you may know, are the words we use to provide additional information about another word. Modifiers include adverbs, adjectives, and clauses. Today the … Continue reading First, Look Ahead: A Shortcut for Fixing Misplaced Modifiers
The Rules of Writing. So many of them are subject to discussion, if not passionate argument. The Oxford comma, the em-dash, the sentence fragment: you're on one side or the other. Hardly anyone stands on the fence. Two of the most popular and oft-quoted Rules are: 1.) Use a stronger verb instead of a verb … Continue reading The Rules of Writing: A Built-In Paradox
Your relationships with Critique Partners and Beta Readers are all-important. But let's face it, you and your partner(s) start out strangers (or at least you should most of the time, see previous articles here and there). So partnering is going to be trial and error, at least at first. What, then, happens when the relationship … Continue reading Critique Partners: What if the Relationship Bombs?
Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively. - Dalai Lama XIV (1935 - )
Got a grammar question? Got a sentence that needs something, but you're not exactly sure what? Tenses don't jive? Can't tell if you need a colon or a semicolon? Well, I'm that kid in school who was always “first hand up” when it was time to diagram sentences. Yeah, a real grammar nerd. Grammar makes … Continue reading ASK GIFF: Grammar & Tenses
The manuscript was completed, polished and pared down to the optimal length for a first-time author. And it was time for me to write a query letter and see if I could get an agent interested in my book. There are a ton of resources online with instructions on how to write a query, and … Continue reading The Query Letter Revisited
Let me first say that I believe in rules. I’m one of those people who loves to diagram sentences (yeah, I know). When too many of the rules get broken, the diagram looks just like chicken-scratch. On the other hand, sometimes it seems that rules are created just so we can have rules. These days, … Continue reading AN ESSAY ON WRITING: The “Rules”