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Grammar: On Style Guides and Dictionaries

Today’s “Grammar Bite” is going to be more of a meal, so I hope you’ll forgive me, but this topic is pretty important and there’s not a short answer here. So grab...

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Grammar: Passive Voice and the Word Was

I had a friend email me a sample edit today that she’d gotten from another editor. She was a bit confused because the editor had flagged every instance of the word “was” as...

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Grammar: The Ellipsis, That Handy Punctuation Mark

Ah, the ellipsis. The ellipsis can be a bit of a pain, but once mastered, it’s a great tool. For the purpose of this post, I’m only talking about using the ellipsis in fiction, not as...

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Grammar: Should You Put a Comma after Introductory Words Such As Now, Today, etc.?

Introductory Adverbs:

So, should you put a comma after introductory words such as now, today, etc.?

It depends! Wait—not what you wanted to hear? Sorry. Okay, let me try to break it down.

If...

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Writing Tips for Authors: Using Ellipses to Punctuate Phone Convos

One of the struggles authors have is presenting dialogue so that it's both understandable and engaging. Phone conversations can be especially problematic. Scenes where you show both sides...

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Grammar: The Dictionary and Why Parts of Speech Matter

You may wonder why the dictionary shows different spellings or treatments of words. As an FYI, it’s not because you can just pick whichever you like the best Often a word or phrase will be...

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Grammar: Is Air-Conditioning Hyphenated, Unhyphenated, or Open?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary: 

  • Air-conditioning, when used as a noun, is hyphenated. The house has air-conditioning.
  • Air conditioner, a noun, is open. The air...
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Grammar: Thank You. No, Thank You!

Should you write thank-you (hyphenated) or thank you (open)? Well, that depends on your meaning.

There are actually two ways to write thank you. No, seriously. I promise.

 


Thank you, when...

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Publishing: Young Adult Category and Demographics vs. Genres

This little mini-rant is brought to you by my reading an article over at InD’Tale. In fairness, I hear people refer to the “YA genre” and the “new adult genre” all the...

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Writing Tips: Pausing as an Action Beat

Using “paused” as an action beat seems a little like an oxymoron, but I digress.

If you use an action beat or a dialog tag, you have inserted a “natural pause” into your...

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