The apostrophe indicates that a letter is missing – as in that’s, can’t, who’s (who is), there’s (there is), could’ve, fish'n'chips… One school of thought claims that all apostrophes indicate missing letters, and this alone should inform our use of them."But what about possessives?" I hear you protest (those of you who are still awake). Merriam-Webster puts … Continue reading Apostrophic Error’s.
Dialogue can be tricky. If you want to make your characters’ conversations sparkle, there is plenty of good advice on the internet. But first, tidy up basics, like punctuation and speech tags, that can distract from your brilliant banter. This is a checklist to help you dust off your dialogue ready for that final polish that … Continue reading Tell It Like It Is
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
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