Mechanics Technique, again

Technique, again

I am taking a look yet again at my first novel, Fatal Score (initially called Hack the Yak), which I am preparing to query. I asked an editor to look at the first three chapters.  The results were eye-opening. When I began writing, I used interior monolog (protagonist’s thoughts), which I laid down in italics.  …

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Mechanics Wearing a Suit and The Oxford Comma

Wearing a Suit and The Oxford Comma

I went to a shiva yesterday for a friend’s mother.  It was in the evening.  A bit uncertain about dress, I wore a conservative suit and a tie.  When I arrived, I realized most of the people were more casually dressed.  A bit embarrassed, I mentioned to a friend that I felt overdressed.  He said, …

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Mechanics Good Writing, Italics, Inner Monolog

Good Writing, Italics, Inner Monolog

I’m in rewrite on my second novel.  I occasionally run into the problem of how to show the reader a character’s thoughts as distinguished from what the character says.  There are no precise rules to follow, and that somehow makes it easier to get away with bad writing.  In doubt? Put the thought in quotes.  …

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Mechanics Soar like an eagle, but don’t forget typography

Soar like an eagle, but don’t forget typography

I have an exasperating problem. Here I am writing (rewriting, actually) an exciting novel, capturing great thoughts, basting it in the oral tradition, riding high. Except the quote marks keep coming out wrong. There are two kinds of quote marks: straight up and down (like a typewriter) and curly. As the Chicago Manual of Style …

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Mechanics On punctuation and breathing

On punctuation and breathing

My friend Sam Westreich, a fine writer, asked about a rule for punctuation, says, “Put in a comma when your brain runs out of breath.”  Now, if we had been given rules like that in fifth grade, we’d all be grammarians!

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