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How NOT to write a novel – from an established author

Posted Posted in authorship, readership, tips for writers, writing

Many months ago (in 2019) I read an interesting article by Fay Weldon in a Sunday magazine. She is the author of Life and Loves of a She-Devil that was also turned into an excellent TV series some years ago. In it she imparted her wisdom from writing experience on what errors are made by […]

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House style – Part 2

Posted Posted in authorship, grammar, house style, punctuation, quotations, spellings, tips for writers, titles, US English, use of capital letters, writing

In part 1 I considered why a house style is necessary for a business – for reasons of consistency, brand identity, and economy. Here I will cover a few areas that should be considered based on UK English usage Writing a house style • Abbreviations, acronyms, and contractions: A common style for abbreviations is capital […]

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Developing a house style

Posted Posted in authorship, capitalization, editing, grammar, punctuation, spellings, tips for writers, writing

Why you need a “house” style By “house” style I mean a writing or editorial style that a company or organization will aim to apply to all the documents and communications it produces. The same can perhaps apply to an individual author who is writing a series of books, guides, or articles. The main reasons […]

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5 key steps for writing perfect emails

Posted Posted in editing, proofreading, tips for writers, typographical errors, writing

Today life is a bit of a rush, especially on the work front and mistakes are understandable but a hazard. Failure to check your work and proofread your business emails can result in all sorts of problems, and errors in emails can make your communications appear unprofessional and careless. But there are steps that you […]

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Tips for writing fiction from a master thriller writer

Posted Posted in tips for writers, writing

In his 2017 book Camino Island by John Grisham – an undisputed master of crime and legal thrillers – the bookshop-owner Bruce Cable gave the following tips for writing fiction. The character said that he had read over 4000 books and here are Bruce’s pearls of wisdom for successful writing. Tip 1: Avoid prologues where […]

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Tips for writers: Knowing when to use colons

Posted Posted in punctuation, tips for writers, writing

There are many who consider the colon and semi-colon to be identical punctuation stop marks and use both without discrimination, while others have a strong preference for one mark and have little use for the other. Here I am going to concentrate solely on the use of colons.

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Tips for writers: The difference between abbreviations, contractions, and acronyms

Posted Posted in language, tips for writers, US English, writing

Abbreviations, contractions, and acronyms are ways of shortening a word or phrase but sometimes can be confusing for a novice writer. I will take each one briefly in turn.

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Points to watch for when revising text

Posted Posted in authorship, proofreading, rewriting, spellings, tips for writers

It is always good practice to revise and if necessary completely rewrite text in documents to ensure that they are accurate, concise, and the best they can be. Straightforward you might think and Aleksandr Orlov, TV superstar meerkat might say “What could possibles go wrong?” Quite a lot actually. But in the process of review […]

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Tips for writers: Using italics

Posted Posted in authorship, tips for writers, writing

Roman (that is upright type) is the standard text typeface, but for various reasons italic type (that is slanted to the right) is adopted. This is often to indicate some form of departure from normal text for the reader to interpret the word or words in a certain way. Some of the main uses of […]

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Tips for writers: Avoiding sexist and biased language: part 2

Posted Posted in tips for writers, writing

Biased language refers to words and phrases that can be considered hurtful, offensive, and prejudiced. Biased language includes expressions or terms that demean or exclude people because of age, ethnicity, marital status, race, religion, politics, sex, sexual orientation, social class, or certain physical or mental traits.