Quick Writing Tips: Are You Guilty?

Calling all grammar police! There are some profound rules in the English language and after reading the article below I’m guilty of undermining some of the rules. Are you guilty? I’d like to know. But at least now I’m a step wiser and (hopefully) I can write better.

Please take the time to read through HolisticWayfarer’s great work below and see what you could learn!


THE APOSTROPHE

1) Make sure it’s a possession (Sarah’s bag) or contraction (it’s = it is) you want to express. That apostrophe stands for something.

You’re book
Your book

2) On this one matter of words ending in s, I dare to disagree with the Writers’ Bible The Elements of Styleby Strunk Jr. and White: The authors favor the possessive with the additional ‘s (Charles’s friend) and go on to differentiate the times you tack on the apostrophe by itself (Moses’ staff), but the distinctions are just too much. Stick to the smokers’ room. The book has been out fifty years. Language favors elision over time, likes the path of least resistance. If it can drop something, it will.

3) The pronouns its, yours, hers, theirs take on no apostrophe because they already indicate possession.

its own ethic
song of yours
they took hers
that lodge of theirs

OBJECT PRONOUN
The preposition between takes objects, not subjects.

between he and I
between him and I
between her and I

between him and me
between her and me

ALL RIGHT
The law of elision, i.e. the law of human laziness, will eventually canonize alright. But all right stand as two words.

A LOT
alot
Also two words.

REFLEXIVE PRONOUN
Use the simple subject pronoun.

Cary and myself arrived at the lake.
Cary and I arrived at the lake.

The reflexive pronouns like myself, himself, yourself need a pronoun in the sentence to reflect back to.

I congratulated me.
There’s the I, the referent.

I congratulated myself.

I’m fine.  And yourself?
There is no you the yourself can hearken back to.

I’m fine.  And you?

SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
The numbers must match.
1) Each, either, everyone, everybody, neither, nobody, someone call for a singular verb.

Everybody thinks they are cool. (Here, they refer to the subject everybody.)
Everybody thinks he is cool.

2) When none means not one or no one, it takes a singular verb.

None of them are going.
None of them is going.

3) Either and neither take a singular verb.

Neither of you are coming.
Neither of you is coming.
Do you know if either of these is used?

4) It’s one number.

A number of cases have revealed that
A number of cases has revealed that

MISPLACED MODIFIER
You can only think when writing.
You can think only when writing.

In the first instance, the only thing you’re doing is thinking because the only modifies whatever act follows. What you meant was to qualify the circumstance that allows you to write.

SUBJECT OF A PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE
the point of what us writers are about

The underlined phrase modifies of and behaves as one noun. Try “the point of the story.” When uncertain between the object and subject form of a pronoun, cover the distraction and you’ll hear it:

what us [writers] are about

Now you know the phrase needs the subject.

the point of what we writers are about.


I hope this article helped to improve your skills.

Happy Blogging!

Writer’s Fizz: Our Future, Our Mission.

“Get your free tickets for Writer’s Fizz!” We must have you on board for our unique journey. A lightning-fast retrospective announcement follows! A bold thank you from me, for your loyal readership, for your support & mostly, for your time. It motivates me to steam ahead and get stuff done!

Umbrella Typography

Writer’s Fizz, Tell Me What The Future Holds?

  1. Astonishing articles sharing support, guidance and advice for all writers.
  2. Creation of a unique platform for ‘new’ authors to share & collaborate.
  3. Creation of a ‘Story Games’ Mobile/Tablet App for everyone!
  4. Dedicated pages for motivation, inspiration and quick tips. 
  5. Some humour posts. Blimey. 🙂
  6. Free services to help other writers who need it. With a volunteer community (hopefully!)
  7. My own personal writing adventures.
  8. English language & literature ramblings with a dash of my personal philosophy.
  9. Forum-style/Open-chat accessibility added for everyone on the Blog
  10. And a bewildering amount more!JULESRENARD WRITERS MOTIV

Oh, These Are What My Action Points Look Like!

  1. Investing my own time helping other writers.
  2. Progression of my novel.
  3. Daily: Producing at least 10 useful comments on other blogs.
  4. Daily: Getting my action points completed to claw my mission closer.
  5. Weekly: Review a wonderful piece of literature!
  6. Fortnightly: Must complete 1 part of the mission.
  7. Monthly: Analyse and update my whereabouts timeline for Writer’s Fizz’s Mission.
  8. Trying to get a blog post out every day or two.
  9. Networking, sharing & connecting with as many writers as possible.
  10. So, sooo much more (you should see my planning books)

I thought it would be quite a neat idea to share this to show you all where I want to be going with this blog and how it involves everyone else. Additionally, it’s a little insight into how I operate which can be useful.

dan-poynter-quote


Tomorrow I will post a brief update over my ‘first novel’ whereabouts for those interested.

Edit 20/11/14: I’m guilty, sorry. I haven’t provided the novel update but I’ve made progress elsewhere. I’m working on a few grounding ‘authenticity’ changes to transform the blog into a much better platform/community. We’re no longer .wordpress too!

Happy blogging!

Fair Expectations? Daring to Write My First Novel

My compelling desire is certainly binding today. It will resonate freely and I will write freely with no blockers. The previous knots in my mind had always confronted my progression about creating a novel. Time to take action today.

I’ve never thrown my writing ability at the remarkable lengths of an average novel but that’s more incentive to get writing in my opinion. Not just ‘another one of my typical free-flowing short stories’. But instead a truly dedicated effort about something I share real passion for. In light of this, I have commanded myself to march forth and dive off the cliff into uncharted waters. It’s been a long time coming.

My Honest Expectations…

The concept of writing a novel seems enjoyable, addicting & tough to me. Starting with toughness I have already imagined that it’s not just pick up a pen and start writing glorious novel after novel. Planning, strategising & all-round complaining seems highly probable for me, anyone else?

In terms of addiction, I’ve had the idea of writing a novel for aaaaages. I’ve let my thoughts mature in the hope that when I do finally start my novel I complete it, is that mature though? 

Finally, and most importantly, I know I will enjoy writing my first novel, without doubt. Even if nobody ever decided to read whatever I managed to create, I still created something. In that itself is something to be proud of. Regardless of the end result, it could even be considered as practise? There’s always positives in practise. Writers jus’ want to write.

What Do I Want From Writing a Novel?

This question is quite difficult to answer properly because I’m slightly worried about being too simplistic or naive. I want to share what I write and I want to write a novel because I want to write a novel. Although I wouldn’t feel satisfied with a completed novel gathering dust next to me my core instinct is sharing, connecting and anything in between. If someone else reads my work – I’m satisfied.

Infact… I’d feel privileged that wonderful people in this wonderful world would invest their own time reading a genuine segment of my imagination.

What Advice Could You Share With Me?

I’ve got acres of potentially useful information at my disposable (and many search engines!) but it’s all rather impersonal. It could be just one sentence from one of my valued followers that changes my understanding of something critical. Or perhaps a ‘down to earth’ explanation of a concept I’ve overlooked. Really, there’s an exhaustive list of ways I can be helped and that’s what I’m reaching out for. I can always learn something from someone.

I’d love to hear some suggestions about your own novel writing experiences. About what went well and what hasn’t. What worked for you and what didn’t? Some methods? Your approaches? Anything relevant that could help me really.

If you spend your time leaving comments I thank you now in advance and expressly promise I will reply in detail.

I’m hoping what I’ve wrote seems reasonable in this excitable moment. It’s time to start organising all my useful materials just to start planning the ‘beginning of the beginning.’ I will keep you all updated 🙂

Onwards and upwards!

My Newbie Blog Award & Nominations

Sunday is not just a day of rest but also a day of wonderful blogging! First of all I must hand a great thank you to Tin Flores for this award. I hope you all enjoy my answers.

Now let’s get down to the rules:

  • Answer the questions set by your nominating blogger.
  • Nominate FIVE bloggers who have not yet reached 30 posts on their blog or have less than five months of archived posts.
  • Ask six questions of your own for your nominees and your nominator to answer.
  • Choose ONE weekly feature to do and stick to it for a month or choose ONE monthly feature to do and stick to it for six months (or do both!)
  • Add your FIVE bloggers to your feed immediately (if you haven’t already done so) and comment on their features.
  • Remember to tack it to your sidebar so you don’t have to do a do-over (unless you want to.)

My answers for the six questions:

  1. If money were no object, what would you do all day? – I would educate myself about any and everything my heart desired. I wouldn’t usually have time to delve into the relentless depths of cognitive psychology or the famous work of Aristotle, but that’s what I’d do! 
  2. Do you prefer a home-cooked meal, or to go out to a restaurant? – Hmmmmm. Mostly I would prefer to go to a restaurant. Steak 🙂
  3. What is your favourite way to unwind? – Using my mind in a creative manner. For example I’d write, think or draw. Anything like that! 
  4. Are you a planner? Or are you spontaneous? – Some may say it is a ‘slightly’ boring but I am a lover of planning with extra attention to detail. Maybe I am robotic!
  5. Favorite drink at the moment (soda, tea, etc)? – Coffee, the wonderfully liberal latte!
  6. What is the one thing you cannot travel without? – As disgusted with myself as I am admitting this, I would need one of my gadgets that could connect to WIFI. (To be blogging of course though!)

My nominees are:

  1. The Dual Effect 
  2. iamnotdoinganything
  3. Sentimental Randomness
  4. Love of Beauty
  5. Enrayn

My Questions to you:

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. What is your main motivation in life?
  3. Who is your favourite author?
  4. If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would you live?
  5. Do you think you blog enough?
  6. (On a lighter note) Share your favourite joke. 🙂

Weekly Feature:

The feature which I am going to stick to (hopefully) is sharing reviews of something literature-ly on a Sunday.

Have a marvellous day and happy blogging to you all!

Unique Advice Every Aspiring Writer Must Read

As soon as my fingers start dancing to create an awe-inspiring post I collide with the infamously familiar writer’s block. I hope I’m quite right to point out that if you’re reading this, you’ve definitely experienced it too. (if not you’re totally blessed by the way!)

I’m thinking maybe it’s my subconscious mind that’s abruptly pointing out “hey, don’t be lazy, just get on with it for once.” The block, or whatever we must call it nowadays seems to approach us subtlety and pounce when we wish it wouldn’t. But the question is, how do we approach it?

unleash-creativity

Writer’s block is merely a nasty temptation to quit, procrastinate or perhaps delay our internal brilliance. If the lightbulb above our head started to flicker we instantly nourish our ideas and churn out the appropriate actions. Using this mentality it’s forgivably normal to forget our innate processes of how to work productively though, would you say so?

…wow, wow wow! Feeling elated & jolly our fantastic ideas require that immediate attention and our control centres passionately whisper “pssst, now’s time to get writing.” So we write what we want to write but start stumbling over some obstacles during our endeavours. But why is this…

Did you know there are more half written novels than completed novels? 

It’s only because a writer’s mind typically moves on to the next idea cooking immediately, is this a form of writer’s block that could be solved with some trivial self-discipline? It’s too early to say but it’s about time we share some advice on how to jump some hurdles and manage writer’s block.


Do not edit while you write!

Planning time to ‘mop’ up your structure, grammar, spelling etc is important. No, It’s imperative. *yaaaaawn.* But this leads to an often insurmountable obstacle for some to manoeuvre around.

This leads me to say, do not aim for precision in your writing during your first draft, thought or prompt (or in this case, a blog post). Just relentlessly release the quality of your ideas with full force, just get your magic out there and just finally deviate every gram of your worrying fibres away from editing to exploit the crucial moments of developing your ideas further.


Create a strategy that compliments you.

Taking this advice further it would be nice to employ a sound strategy to guide us through our enveloping shroud. I must quickly iterate that everyone has different methods that suit them but from my experience the principles of the following strategy apply relatively universally to the writer’s world. Well, there are some methods available that are better than most. But today I’ve plucked the magnifying glass out the drawers to share the SMART methodology.

Always work SMART-ly

Always work SMART-ly

It’s quite self-explanatory. Align your goals following the SMART principles. For my ability & aptitude utilising the SMART principles was and still feels like finding the holy grail – simple rules that made things ‘click’. Please give it a whirl and I’d greatly appreciate if you let me know how you feel about it.

If I want to share a half-decent blog post once week, it seems to reasonable and practical. Five times a day? I’m not so sure about that. Always adapt the SMART principles in a way that works for you. Voice memos, sure! smartphone notes, why not? Writing it down …of course!


Tame your ideas

There has been an endless mentioning of ‘ideas’ in this post and I have purposely placed excessive emphasis on ‘everything-idea-related.’ Analyse your surrounding area quickly, everything around you was created from a resonating stream of ideas propelled into action by great personal administration and management of ideas. Please please please manage your ideas.

  • Consistently log your ideas, no matter how brief they are. (Always have something to log with available.)
  • Organise, store and then manage your ideas effectively, you never know when it may be exactly what you need.
  • Evaluate new ideas and develop a reasonable strategy for them.

If you follow these steps to help manage your ideas you are religiously lighting the fuse to an explosive path of innovation.


Be selective with other individual’s feedback

You are the expert of yourself so remember writing is a pleasure and never a grind (I promise!) Time to open those meticulous listening devices of ours and receive all our feedback gracefully. Be selective in what you actually filter through your mind though! Welcome aboard positives, recognise constructive criticism and plough through plateaus with pride.

Whatever skills you employ in your writing journey and whatever talent you possess never get caught up in other individual’s feedback.


Hope I’ve been useful! 🙂

Writer’s Fizz meets world. Hello!

My so-called “blog” starts now.

I’ve just left the harbour, who needs a compass, right? The waters are calm and the surrendering sun is passing direction over me.

It’s a positively charged moment. My sense of freedom is grasping the hand of joy and now shaking away vigorously. I’m nervous and overwhelmed. But there’s a tormenting desire to be different, where would I dare begin?

Essential writing skills: sitting down at the typewriter and bleeding

Matthew Wright

On my experience there’s a point authors hit with every book where it’s just easier to put it down. You’re stuck on a plot point, or out of ideas, and it’s just too haaaaaaaard. And so the book goes back into the drawer and you go back to firing up Steam for another zombie-shooting session, or whatever.

A wonderful quote from Katherine Mansfield. A wonderful quote from Katherine Mansfield.

None of which cuts it in the profession. Even in this age of shrinking advances and limited publisher opportunities, if you fail to meet a contract you’ll certainly be up to refund some thousands of dollars in advances.

Or suppose you got your dream job and you’ve got a script to finish for the next Dr Who episode (someone in my city, Wellington, does just that for the BBC). The filming schedule won’t wait for you to re-discover the muse.

That’s also true of self-pubbers, not least…

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