Today’s lesson is about one of the least often used punctuation marks, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to know when or how to use it. When used properly, colons can add impact, clarity, and conciseness to your writing.
You can think of them like a flashing neon sign that reads, “This is what I’m talking about,” over a section where you clarify a statement you’ve already made. They’re added right before a phrase or list that explains or adds to the sentence before it.
They only had two ways out: fight their way through a small army or risk waking a family of sleeping bears.
There are three states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas.
In both examples, the colon lets the reader know they’re about to be told exactly what the options are in that instance.
Today's story takes us back to the Myth and Science Universe again. I know I've been a bit heavy on that universe lately. I promise we'll have at least three weeks before we have another one.
"Conflict of Instinct" is set a few decades after "Making the List" and a few kingdoms over in the Fae realm.
You don't have to have read any of the other stories set in the universe to understand what's happening though.
As always, you can also listen to the audio version here.
It's the start of a new quarter, so it's time to see how I did meeting the goals for last quarter and state those for the spring.
The first quarter of 2017 was something of a mixed bag, as usual. Some goals were easily met. Others were failed. So let's get into it.
Today's flash fic takes us back to the Myth and Science Universe several months after the events of "I Have the Weirdest Friends." Okay, so it's not the "long story" about how Jenn and Penelope found out Lily wasn't from Earth. That story's being saved for the Myth and Science Universe short story collection in the works, but today's story happens pretty much right after that one.
Having a passing familiarity with the universe helps, but it's not necessary to enjoy or understand the story.
You can also listen to the audio version.
Our next couple of lessons will be about two seldom used but useful punctuation marks, the semicolon and the colon. When used properly, these punctuation marks can give you new ways to tweak the clarity and rhythm of your writing.
Colons and semicolons are two different things!
Although a colon and a semicolon look very similar, their uses are different. You cannot use the two punctuation marks interchangeably. You’ll see exactly why this is once you’ve completed both this lesson and the next one on use of the colon.
Today's story takes us back to the AI Universe, a couple centuries farther into the future than we've gone before. You don't have to know anything about the universe to understand and enjoy this story.
As always you can find the audio version here.
Have you heard the advice about taking a break between steps in the writing process? As with many things when it comes to matters of art making, there are multiple schools of thought on the practice. Some say it's a waste of time. Others say it's essential. Some prefer short breaks or "pauses," and others believe anything less than months at a time is the same as just plowing through.
Personally, I hold to the pause method. One, just because that's the way I've always worked on an instinctual level, but also because I've learned I need those pauses to produce better work.
When I saw the prompt for today's story, I knew it would have to be set somewhere, sometime in the Myth and Science Universe. It's set toward the beginning of the universe's timeline, so while having already read "Don't Go Near the Well" is helpful, it's not needed to enjoy the story. It's set a year or so after the events of "Don't Go Near the Well" and a couple of years from "Flight from Mab's Castle."
You can also find the audio version here.
Commas are one of the most misused and abused punctuation marks out there. I think part of this is because we’re taught in elementary school that they indicate a pause. This is correct, but people have a tendency to take this a bit too far, including commas whenever and wherever they would pause when speaking. It’s a good enough rule of thumb to get by in a pinch, but you run the risk of overusing them when putting it to practice.
So let’s take a closer look at the comma today. When is it needed, and when is it extra?
This week, we're back in the Supers Universe with Stanley West and his mentor, Ms. Truseau a few weeks after "Meeting Ms. Truseau." You don't have to have read that one or be familiar with the Supers Universe to understand the story though.
Or you can listed to the audio version.
Yekara Series Book 2
The Icarus Project
Rough Draft Progress
69061 / 75000
Myth & Science Collection
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