When, where, and how should you use quotation marks in your writing? It's a question that confuses people and causes a lot of problems for them and not just when it comes to writing dialogue. Today we'll discuss the proper usage of quotation marks in fiction and non-fiction, formal and informal writing.
How do I quote someone in an essay?
First, you need to decide if you're going to quote them word for word or if you want to paraphrase what they said. If they were long winded in their explanation of something, paraphrasing might be best. Otherwise it looks like you are using the quote to bump up your word count without presenting your take on the subject, which can hurt your grade. The best quotes to use in school papers are short, to the point, and given by experts in the topic you're discussing in the paper.
One of the most common things I've seen writers be asked is what their writing schedule looks like. Do you write at set times? Do you have a daily word count goal? Do you write every day or when inspiration strikes?
Each writer has a different answer. We're all different people, so what works for one might not work for another.
Still, I've recently made a slight alteration to my writing schedule that's made a huge difference in my productivity, so I thought I would share.
I thought I'd mix it up a bit this week by answering a writer's tag I found online. It just has ten simple questions, so this should be short and sweet.
1. What do you write?
A quick scroll down the categories over to the right of the page ought to prove I write speculative fiction. Spec fic covers a wide range of genres and their subgenres as well as mashups of those. I tend to stick more with science fiction, but I do dabble in fantasy now and again. And like with the Yekara series and the Myth and Science universe stories, there are times when I use both science fiction and fantasy elements in the same piece.
Have you tried to compare things only to get confused as to whether you should put more in front of the adjective or add "er" to the end of it? If so, you aren't alone. A lot of people have difficulty deciding on the proper way to use the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives. In fact, it's such a common problem, it's a frequent source of frustration for editors and English teachers alike. That's why I'm covering them in this week's Back to Basics post.
When and why should you begin a new paragraph when writing? It’s one of those basic writing skills that can still be tricky off and on for even experienced writers. While the rules are fairly simple for formal writing, the added freedom when composing fiction can cause a bit of confusion.
Once again, today’s topic is one where errors tend to make me cringe. It’s to the point where C. L. makes subject verb agreement or comparatives errors on purpose to pick at me because he finds the faces I make in response hilarious. However, these kinds of mistakes irk me for a different reason than negative concord (double negatives) like we spoke about last time.
Each language has its own unique rhythm. The spoken word has been compared to music for good reason. Listening to someone speak well or reading a bit of good writing aloud plays over the ear like a melody. In that context, grammatical errors stick out like sour notes.
At least to my ears, mistakes with subject verb agreement and comparatives sound more like a woodwind squawking than a simple wrong note.
Another attempt, another year I didn't quite meet the goal for NaNoWriMo.
I'm not disappointed in that fact this year though. Yes, I didn't make the goal of 50,000 words in a month, but I managed 33,000. That's nothing to sneeze at, and to be frank, it is more than I imagined I might write in a normal month.
There's the important part. Since I wasn't starting a new rough draft this year, I decided to just count up the words in my usual creative writing load for the month. Between the weekly articles, blog posts, flash fictions, and what I added to my longer stories, I didn't do too bad.
* Originally posted on Diary of a Work-at-Home-Mom on May 3, 2010.
Nichole wrote her first book at the end of last year. She'd been entertaining C. L. and me with tales she made up for months, so I suggested making a book to give her grandparents for Christmas. She loved the idea.
Nichole told me one of her stories, and I wrote it out for her. Then, after asking for a few clarifications on the details, I drew out some rather pathetic pictures she and Brooke colored. C. L. and I scanned them into the computer and put them together into the book.
You should have seen her when her Pops and Nana and Gammy and Papa read the story. I recognized the expression. She has the bug, and she has it bad.
She's been drawing comic books and making skits ever since. (Hey, she's not even four yet and only partway to reading and writing. So, she tells her stories through pictures and actions for now.)
Today’s lesson will by necessity touch on one of several pet peeves of mine. I will try to keep it free of impassioned ranting.
Negatives are a necessity in any language. As much as we’d love to always emphasize the positive, sometimes you just have to say no, rebut a statement, or say what something isn’t. As words, negatives are useful tools, if you understand how to use them.
Double negatives crop up a lot in informal speech. Sometimes this is done by accident. Sometimes the person does it to emphasize a point, and yet others, it is used to hide the speaker’s true meaning. Because of the prevalence in the vernacular, the use of double negatives leads to a lot of common grammatical errors.
Today marks the first day of NaNoWriMo otherwise known as "National Novel Writing Month." Those participating attempt to write a 50,000 word "novel" within the month of November. To do this, participants try their best to write at least 1600 words each day.
Will you be participating this year?
I've given it a try for several years, and I've never managed to hit the goal working on any one manuscript. Life gets in the way, especially now that I'm a grown woman with adult responsibilities and a family of my own. I mean, it falls right at the start of the holiday season, and I run a handmade business. Still, I think I might try to follow the spirit of the event if not following lockstep with the rules.
The Icarus Project
Rough Draft Progress
Myth & Science Collection
Yekara Series Book 2
Icarus Trilogy Book 2
Yekara Series Book 3
Myth & Science Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Icarus Trilogy Book 3
Supers Collection 2
Intent Only at this Time
Yekara Series Book 4