To use a comma or not: that is the question. Here are some variations on punctuating dialogue and dealing with dependent phrases and clauses. The repetition could seem mind-numbingly boring, but I wanted to write the same content in a number of different ways for clarity with respect to punctuation and capitalization. PUNCTUATING DIALOGUE … More A Quick and Dirty Guide to Commas
I’d like to thank Ann Finkelstein for asking me to participate in this blog hop. I’ve been neglecting my blog, and this gave me a reason to get back to it. Ann is a talented writer and photographer whose YA fantasy is now out on submission. You can read about her writing process here. I’m … More Blog Hop!
Once upon a time, I used to agree that picture book writers had to put much more time into selecting each individual word than novelists. After all, picture book writers can have anywhere from seven words to three thousand words to work with as they work to tell an entire story.* I can’t speak for every novelist, … More Opening Up
Here’s an excerpt from Sue Bradford Edward’s recent blog post at Women on Writing: For about two months, I’ve been playing around with a rewrite. I’ll work on it a bit and then set it aside because it hasn’t jelled. Every now and again, I figure out a problem and get some writing done, but after … More When Lack of Sympathy is a Good Thing
A friend of mine, a writer who managed to make me laugh AND get teary eyed at the same moment, has started group-blogging as Swagger. This bunch of writers came together at a Highlights Foundation retreat and really bonded. Collectively, they’re an interesting bunch. Rich Wallace, for example, has written lot of great middle grade and YA novels. (On a … More Swagger?
I’ve been collecting quotes from writers and editors for the past 18 years or so. In fact, I just delivered a talk at the Michigan SCBWI’s fall conference on Mackinac Island that shared the quotes that I’ve been collecting for the past 18 years. I had about two pages worth of them from various events … More Some thoughts on writing from Donna Jo Napoli
Some of my agency sibs are annoyingly astonishingly prolific. They add thousands of words a day and post totals on Facebook. I cheer in their comments section because I am honestly delighted that their words are piling up. But there is that grumpy little envious corner of my brain that’s jealous, jealous, jealous even though I understand that … More Writing A Thousand Words A Day?
When my son started running long distance, his coach said something pretty close to the following: “Sprinters are born, but you can be successful in long distance if you put in the miles.” (Now, of course, the elite long distance runners are probably also born, but I’m guessing that even they need to put in some serious … More Putting in the Miles
My writer friend Dori Hillestad Butler has had quite a year. First, she was nominated for the Edgar for her book, THE CASE OF THE LOST BOY, which is part of her BUDDY FILES series. Then she found herself in the middle of a censorship brouhaha when a woman from Texas complained about the specificity … More Dori Wins the Edgar!
I am in the middle of going through what I hope are the last few tweaks of Calyn’s story. Of course, the problem with tweaking one section is that I have to follow the thread all the way through the manuscript to make sure that everything still hangs together. But I know that manuscript so well … More A Robin McKinley Rant