Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Take a Short Quiz

Hello, my name is Sherry Gammon. I write YA, NA, and Contemporary clean romance. (Find me here!). I also run a publishing company title Creative Prose Publishing. As we’ve reviewed numerous submissions over the past year, we’ve noticed that many novice authors struggle with using correct punctuation when writing dialog. Here is a short quiz to test your knowledge! Have fun and let me know how you did!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Emotion and Merry Christmas

by Donna K. Weaver

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a huge fan of The Piano Guys. I love them for the beauty of their music but also the delight of watching their videos.

How many times can you spot the Elf on the Shelf doll throughout?


It makes me appreciate, as I watch all of their videos, how much the impact of the music is strengthened by adding the visual experience. I wonder how we can do that in our writing. I realize we must make some kind of emotional connection with the reader.

The following is a commercial, but it packs a powerful punch for a number of reasons. One is that for most of us, we can relate to some kind of Christmas celebration. Even if we're not religious, Christmas is a huge cultural holiday, filled with family traditions. So the company that made the following commercial already had a connection for viewers, but then they based the story upon a real event in 1914. Those two things give it power to twist our hearts. 


It's that connection that will keep our readers reading.

Merry Christmas
Happy Holidays


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Quirky

Check the date and time for this post.

Go ahead. I'll wait.
...   ...   ...   ...

Right--12/13/14  15:16 (that's military for 3:16 PM)

Such a cool date. We'll never see it again with month, day, year, hour and minute lined up that way! Well, at least for a hundred years. There's a little math geek in me that is very happy right now.

Quirky: Finding something just strange enough to be interesting, but not so far out there to be off-putting.

Quirky characteristics make books memorable, pull us into the story, and make the characters more relatable--iconic. Here are a few quirky characters that come to mind:

Harry Potter--lightning bolt scar

Jace in The Mortal Instruments--so, so, soooooo conceited but we love him for it

Becky Bloomwood in Shopaholic--she can't help it--she shops, and spends, and buys some more

Mrs. Bennet in Pride & Prejudice--perpetually immature


Quirky details pull us into stories. 
Go write some quirks today!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Commas and Introductory Phrases

To continue my little tutorial on punctuation ...

Let's talk about introductory phrases. Those are phrases that come at the start of your sentence that introduce the rest of the sentence. (Hence their name, right?)

Here are some examples:

As I was saying ...

Furthermore ...

However ...

As part of today's blog post ....

Whenever your sentence starts with an introductory phrase, you need a comma to separate the phrase from the rest of the sentence. Like so:

As I was saying, you need a comma.

Furthermore, you should put the comma in the right place.

However, don't go overboard and start putting commas in just any old place.

As part of today's blog post, I'll show you examples of where to place your comma.

See you next time when we discuss ... the Oxford comma.