I’ve edited a monthly magazine for more than six years, and it’s a job that’s come with more frustration than reward. If there’s one thing I am grateful for — and it sure isn’t the pay — it’s that my work has allowed endless time to hone my craft to Louis Skolnick levels of grammar geekery. As someone who slings red ink for a living, let me tell you: grammar is an ultra-micro component in the larger picture; it lies somewhere in the final steps of the editing trail; and as such it’s an overrated quasi-irrelevancy in the creative process, perpetuated into importance primarily by bitter nerds who accumulate tweed jackets and crippling inferiority complexes.
Grammar chants can be a lot of fun to use in classes. They are especially effective when used to help students learn problematic forms. Grammar chants use repetition to engage the right side of the brain's 'musical' intelligence. The use of multiple intelligences can go a long way to helping students speak English 'automatically'. Here are a number of chants for some of the most common beginning level problem areas. Many of these chants are simple.
by Mark Nichol Adjectives — descriptive words that modify nouns — often come under fire for their cluttering quality, but often it’s quality, not quantity, that is the issue. Plenty of tired adjectives are available to spoil a good sentence, but when you find just the right word for the job, enrichment ensues. Practice precision when you select words.
British and American English often spell the same word differently, for example: labour/labor , enthrall/enthral , or centre/center . You can find out more about these differences here . There are also many cases in which the two varieties of English use different terms to describe the same thing. Here’s a list of various British words and expressions together with their American equivalents. See also Commonly confused words <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>
You’re just getting started as a writer. Or you’ve been doing it your whole life. But you’ve never published a book. And you want to; you need to. You’re just not quite sure how to begin. No publishers are knocking down your door, but you feel like you’ve got a book in you.
I read this cool article last week — “ 30 Things To Stop Doing To Yourself ” — and I thought, hey, heeeey , that’s interesting. Writers might could use their own version of that. So, I started to cobble one together. And, of course, as most of these writing-related posts become, it ended up that for the most part I’m sitting here in the blog yelling at myself first and foremost. That is, then, how you should read this: me, yelling at me. If you take away something from it, though?
S he is a breathing book each night I touch her pages delicately turn to find
Get more formatting tips in FLOG , Bill's blog on manuscript preparation. Download this article in PDF format . An earlier version of this article was reprinted in Writers Write: The Internet Writing Journal , December 1998 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License .
1. A Series Of Word Choices Here’s why this matters: because both writing and storytelling comprise, at the most basic level, a series of word choices. Words are the building blocks of what we do. They are the atoms of our elements. They are the eggs in our omelets.
Unsorted [/writers] James Patrick Kelly - Murder Your Darlings - "When time comes to make that final revision, however, you must harden your heart, sharpen the ax and murder your darlings."
1: Establishing Your Authority Chuck teaches two principal methods for building a narrative voice your readers will believe in. Discover the Heart Method and the Head Method and how to employ each to greatest effect.
MILLLICENT G. DILLON , the world's expert on authors Jane and Paul Bowles, has won five O. Henry Awards and been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner. I worked with Dillon on her memoir, The Absolute Elsewhere , in which she describes in luminous prose her private meeting with Albert Einstein to discuss the ethics of the atomic bomb.
Previous iterations of the “25 Things” series: 25 Things Every Writer Should Know 25 Things You Should Know About Storytelling And now… Here you’ll find the many things I believe — at this moment!