If you frequent bookstores, you know how much a brand-new hardcover costs. You also know the profoundly awful feeling of cracking open a new purchase, reading a chapter or two, and realizing it’s a total stinker. (more…)
Greetings, writers! Today, we’re deciphering perhaps the most enigmatic, intimidating punctuation mark: the semicolon. This part-comma, part-colon freak of punctuational nature has gotten a bum rap by contemporary English speakers, and, as such, it has been largely relegated to use in winking emoticons. (more…)
Commas, colons, and parentheses—these are common tools of the scribe. In fact, we are so familiar with them that oftentimes we incorporate them in our writing without a single conscious thought. Unfortunately, however, the same can’t be said for em dashes—many of us writers just aren’t that familiar with them, so we balk at incorporating them into our work. (more…)
It’s cold outside, and, well, I’m in a bit of a mood—the subjunctive mood, that is.
You see, if it were July, we could take a stroll in the park without freezing our tails off. If I were a pilot, I’d fly us to the Bahamas for some fun in the sun. Better yet, I wish I were the Human Torch, so I could be nice and toasty year round . . . (more…)
Hi, fun nation! (See what I did there?) Today, we’re boldly going where no other punctuation mark dares to go, where lasting connections are forged or relentlessly torn asunder—to the jurisdiction of the mighty hyphen.
In modern English, the hyphen seems to pop up all over the place, so it can be hard to keep track of all the nuances of its use. Thus, for your convenience, I have compiled a list of the hyphen’s favorite hangouts, complete with examples and short explanations of why it hangs out there: (more…)
With over fifty novels to his name, almost two hundred short stories, and scores of adaptations into movies, TV shows, comic books, and even musicals, Stephen King is arguably the most prolific and successful American author. Period. His most recent work, Mr. Mercedes, published June of this year, is the first of a prospective trilogy, and the sequel, Finders Keepers, is slated for release next year. As if that weren’t enough, King has announced yet another novel, Revival, scheduled for publication this November. With all of that fiction-writing and industry experience, it’s safe to say that the man has learned a thing or two about writing. Luckily for us aspiring writers, King imparts this gritty, practical wisdom in his memoir, On Writing. (more…)