Where Commas Fear to Tread

What a comma CAN’T do  ‘Not commas again’, I hear you groan. Well... yes, because I promised (or threatened) a post about semicolons. Semicolons step in where commas (should) fear to tread. Editors frown when two independent clauses (or complete sentences, if you prefer) are joined by a comma. They call this a comma splice... WRONG … Continue reading Where Commas Fear to Tread

A Diversion

Challenges from Chris Fielden and Friends I’ve been following Chris Fielden’s website for many moons, at https://www.christopherfielden.com/ and have twice entered short stories in his annual To Hull and Back competitions. It’s a lighthearted and responsive website. Chris is generous with advice, offering listings of current competitions and advice about entering them, among other things. Since I first … Continue reading A Diversion

Roome Bay

It’s too hot for thinking up blog posts. Summer is for reading… on the beach. Well, maybe not the beach – not this year anyway. This year our motorhome trips have given way to hospital appointments as my husband awaits a major operation. We daren’t stray for too long in case another appointment arrives, requiring … Continue reading Roome Bay

Comma Conclusion, Part 4

I thought I knew about commas before I started looking into them. It’s been a learning curve. I’ve recently revisited some of my short stories, and there have been a lot of changes. This concluding article in the series tidies up some odds and ends in situations where commas confuse. But, and other little words that … Continue reading Comma Conclusion, Part 4

Continuing Commas, Part 2: Comma Categories

I started making notes about commas after a former colleague asked for help with a job application. I made notes for him on my edits and when I wasn’t sure why I wanted to change something, I checked online. That was when my investigation ran away with itself; there was much more to commas than … Continue reading Continuing Commas, Part 2: Comma Categories

Comma Conundrums, Part 1: Rotating Sentences and the Oxford Comma

Do you remember when they told you at school that commas indicate a pause in the sentence? Wrong! (Okay – maybe it was only primary school…) I have a piece of editing software. (Mine is ProWritingAid; other editing software is available.) I use it for a final check, and its reports regularly tell me I’ve … Continue reading Comma Conundrums, Part 1: Rotating Sentences and the Oxford Comma

Swimming with Sharks

I spent a lot of time searching blogs and support websites for advice when I began writing my ‘practice novel’. (Of course, I didn’t realise back then it was a practice novel.) It was daunting to discover how much I had to learn, but reassuring to find I wasn’t alone in trying to swim before … Continue reading Swimming with Sharks

Looking for Clues

Since taking to the keyboard, I've found that basics I thought mastered at school have deserted me. When did commas become so complicated? I don’t have all the answers, but they're out there somewhere. Here are some things to keep in mind while you're looking for them. Seek a second opinion – or three. Some … Continue reading Looking for Clues

Laughter Lines

I was into my sixties when I began writing. Most successful writers took half a lifetime to hone their craft. Us silver scribblers have less time to smooth out those wrinkles in our writing that identify an apprentice wordsmith. This blog is about my own writing wrinkles. (You may prefer to call them laughter-lines but … Continue reading Laughter Lines