grammar tips tagged posts

Critique Technique Table of Contents

Here’s a Table of Contents of all of the Critique Technique posts to make it easier to go directly to the post you want to read.

Introductory Posts

Part 1 of Many

Part 4: Series Preview

Reader Response

Part 2: How Do You Feel?

Part 3: Authorial Intentions and Tracking Your Own Responses

Beginnings and Endings

Part 5: Weak or Missing Hook

Part 6: The Wrong Beginning

Part 7: Scene and Chapter Endings

Part 7b: More on Scene and Chapter Endings

Part 8: Story Endings

Characterization

Part 9: Characters and Conflict

Part 10: Poor Characterization

Part 11: Lack of Character Development

Part 12: Showing and Telling in Character Development

Part 13: Timing the Reveal

Part 14: Out-of-Character Behavior

Part 15: Unclear Character Goals

Part 16: Unclear or Insufficient Obstacles

Part 17: Dialect...

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Critique Technique, Part 54 — Grammar Errors

Four professors in cap and gown

photo credit: peyri via photopin cc

By Ross B. Lampert

Like the rules of spelling and punctuation, the rules of grammar are meant to help make a writer’s meaning clear to the reader. Unfortunately, there are probably even more grammar rules than there are spelling and punctuation rules, which means that many more opportunities for a writer to mess things up.

Whole books, college classes, and web sites are devoted to these rules, so there’s no way I’m going to try to replicate even a tiny fraction of that material here. Instead, visit Mignon Fogarty’s Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips web site. It will tell you everything you wanted to know about English grammar, and more besides.

The thing is, as a reviewer, you don’t need to know down to the micro-level detail every single rule, c...

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Critique Technique, Part 53 — Punctuation

Humanoid image surrounded by question marks

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By Ross B. Lampert

Perhaps as much as spelling, punctuation can be a wonder and a mystery to a lot of novice writers. School teachers try to teach their students all sorts of rules—if you really dig into it, there are hundreds of them—and of course they all have their exceptions and caveats. After a while, many students just give up, and it shows.

I thought I had a good workable handle on what to use, when, and how until I went to one of my friend Harvey Stanbrough’s seminars, and then the light bulb really came on.

Harvey’s take on punctuation is simple: punctuation exists simply to help the reader understand what she’s reading. Try this and you’ll see what I mean:

I dont understand why punctuation is so importa...

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Critique Technique, Part 52 — Spelling

By Ross B. Lampert

Spelling, misspelled and correctedThis post begins a series on mechanical errors in writing, and with it, we’ll finish all the posts on the errors writer make. After that I’ll discuss the kinds of things a reviewer should address when the writer does well. Critique is not criticism, after all, and especially not negative, destructive criticism. It’s important to point out a writer’s successes, too.

Before I get to that, though, I need to discuss speeling, grammer, puncturation, capitolization—I mean, spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization—and other usage problems, and manuscript formatting.

Spelling words correctly is a basic requirement for every writer. There’s simply no excuse for getting words wrong, unless, like I did in the paragraph above, you’re doing it intentionally...

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Great Stuff for Writers, May 27, 2013

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, one of the two holidays (two!) in which we honor and remember our military personnel, those serving today and those who have served in the past, especially those who were injured or killed in combat. As a veteran myself, I’ll be participating in a ceremony this evening. Courage in the face of mortal danger and sacrifice to it have long been—and should be!—staples of literature. James Scott Bell’s (@jamesscottbell) Of Miracles, Sacrifice and Story speak to this better than I can, so that’s where we’ll start this week’s Great Stuff.

And to my brothers and sisters in arms, thank you.

CRAFT

Nancy J. Cohen (@nancyjcohen) offers a veritable plethora of tips on how to make On-Site Research trips worth your time and expense...

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Great Stuff for Writers, February 28 & March 1, 2013

Okay… deep breath and here we go. Click the Publish button aaaaand…

Welcome to the renamed and relocated Great Stuff for Writers! I hope you like the new web site and the new-ish layout. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the content: I’m still surfing the blogosphere for important and valuable information for you, my fellow writers.

If you were subscribed to the old Great Stuff from the Cochise Writers blog, I’m afraid you’ll have to resubscribe, but the links are over on the right in the sidebar. You can (re)subscribe by RSS or e-mail, or both! Of course, you can also bookmark the site or mark it as a favorite too.

This new web site is still a work in progress, so if you have any problems with it, PLEASE tell me about them...

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