Saturday, August 11, 2012

Guest Blogging at Book and Trailer Showcase

I did a guest blog for Book and Trailer Showcase earlier this week. If you are interested in reading  click here 

 I have been doing some copy-editing work as well as writing, and I do come across several issues that are easy fixes, such as:

Using semi-colons and colons in dialogue. Guess what? You don't need them in there. You really don't need that at all.  When people speak, they naturally takes pauses, speak with incomplete sentences or stop, but this can be easily shown with a period, and comma or an ellipsis. Semi-colons and colons are fine in non-fiction articles and scholarly reports, but they really have no place in fiction. Personally, I'd rather have two separate sentences rather than one joined by a semi-colon or colon. I think as readers, we can make a connection, if there is one, between the statements. When they are overused, it appears that the writer is trying too hard. Write a good story--that's all it takes.

Another common mistake is sentence fragments. Personally, I use them, sparingly, in writing. There are times when it adds little to the story, but using them constantly is not a good idea. It's distracting and sometimes downright confusing. So, writers please use complete sentences most of the time. :)

The last little things are dialogue tags. Some writers tend to overuse them.
For example: "I'm not going with you," Todd said angrily.
                      "Just stay home, then," Jan replied tearfully.
These are not necessary and really don't add to the story. Writers need to express how characters feel by what they say and how they act and react.
For example: Todd slammed his fist on table. "I'm not going with you."
                     "Just stay home, then, " Jan replied, turning away to hide her tears.
These, of course, aren't perfect but they add to the action of the story and eliminate annoying dialogue tags.

I hope these little tips help anyone going through a revision. I try to remember these tips myself when going through the revision process.

Happy Writing and Reading!

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