Line of Fire, An Autumn Rain Novel

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For Aspiring Writers

A brief word on grammar

By Rachel Ann Nunes

Grammar tips:
  1. Learn your punctuation. I can't tell you how many aspiring authors I've met who don't know if the comma goes before or after the quotes in dialogue. If you are unsure, do your research. A good grammar book will help immensely. (See Resources in the Tools of the trade article.)

  2. Change paragraphs every time someone new is speaking. (There are rare exceptions, but you are safe to stick with this until you learn how to use them.)

  3. Watch sentences that can have double meanings. Example: I saw a movie about a vacation spot which I recommended. So are you recommending the vacation spot or the movie?

  4. Do a search for all the words you habitually overuse. Look up new words and replace. (See Words to avoid in the Style and words to avoid article.)

  5. Trim your sentences for unnecessary or redundant words.

  6. Consider hiring a line editor the first few times to see what they pick up.

  7. Don't feel that a publisher will overlook the errors. If there are a few and the story is really good, they might be overlooked, but if there are so many signs that you haven't done your homework on either grammar, content, format, or storylines, they won't read past the first few pages, if that.

  8. A good story WILL be published. Editing will make your story better and tighter.