Three Great Sites for Writers

Three Jam-Packed Sites

By Annette Rey

You will have great fun and be exposed to a world of information, an inexhaustible amount, if you spend some time on the following sites.

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Ridding Your Work of Redundancies, Part Five and Part Six

Eliminating Additional Extras V and VI

By Annette Rey

Writers should strive for knowledge wherever it leads, and work hard to apply that knowledge. The search can be fun, just as writing can be fun. When you have the tools, the job is made easier.

So, let’s jump into the final post of this series and examine what publishers do NOT want to see in our work.

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Ridding Your Work of Redundancies, Part Three and Part Four

Eliminating Additional Extras III and IV

By Annette Rey

Writers are faced with many challenges in producing work, and with post-production issues. The life of the writer is a perpetual state of learning – or should be. To address, in part, both of these issues, today’s subjects in the Ridding Your Work of Redundancies series are verbosity and prolixity.

Let’s look at what publishers would like NOT to see in our work.

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Ridding Your Work of Redundancies, Part Two

Eliminating Additional Extras II

By Annette Rey

Everyone has specific ways of communicating, it’s one of the facets that makes us individuals. Most of us are not professorial in our speech and insert idiosyncratic expressions into our writing. These expressions may be considered unwanted in the written word.

You want to perfect your craft and want to present your work error-free. How can you do that without knowing the rules?

Here’s help.

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Ridding Your Work of Redundancies, Part One

Eliminating Additional Extras

By Annette Rey

Is your written work heavy with too many words?

As the subtitle suggests, writers unintentionally include unnecessary words in their first draft. During the editing process, your work needs to be made concise without sacrificing your original meaning.

Let’s look at one of the ways we add superfluous words and the remedy for it.

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Writers – From Blank Screen to Story

Unblocking Exercise – Word Trains


By Annette Rey


Are you short on ideas? How do you inspire ideas? Try this.


My technique is simple. Pick words. It’s sort of the old psychiatric test, free association. Say the first word that comes to your mind when you hear another word. It is my contention, the human brain cannot stop thinking. One word inspires the birth of another.  

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For the Love of Words

Love Them, They Will in Turn be Good to You


By Annette Rey


I have been called “a word nazi” many times in my life. Most of those times, the title is not said with humor. Others couldn’t care less, and they are sloppy in English usage. Most do not welcome education or correction.


It is not my manner to be offensive. It’s just that some people will take offense no matter what you say or do. I love the art of using the English language in the correct way. If you ever watched the television series Frasier, you know the brothers were meticulous in their usage of the English language. I enjoyed that program because I could relate with the respect the language was given. I remember one scene where Frasier was befriending a group of English people in an English pub. Eventually, they tired of his stuffy ways. He was surprised and didn’t know why. When trying to win them over he claimed he even spelled color with a “u”. I had to laugh because I prefer to spell color c-o-l-o-u-r as the English do.


A good exercise is to go to a UK website and read just a few paragraphs. You will find a difference between US and UK word usage and spelling of a lot of words. The progeny of our forefathers were rebels and created their own language. Then again, the square miles of the US is so large, dialects were a natural consequence of the space between lives. Specific cultures developed based upon geography and settlement of the diverse areas. So language grew in diverse ways, as well.


In the UK the hood of a car is called a bonnet, an umbrella is a brolly, the human backside is a bum. In New York, the ba’les are bru’al. They drop the t’s in words (battles are brutal). We’re from the same country and have trouble understanding one another.


Do you remember hearing what General Patton said, in the movie Patton, when addressing the English people? “We are a common people separated by a common language.” This premise is not an exaggeration.


Rules of writing words had to be established to facilitate understanding between people. We need to respect those rules and learn them.


Between us writers, correction should be something for which we strive (I’m still trying to end a sentence with the looser style – to strive for.) I guess resistance to that is the word nazi in me talking.


I ask myself, “Is being a stickler on a subject all bad?” I don’t think so. Do you want to perfect your craft, whatever it is? Do you want to produce a lesser product by not trying as hard as you could? My motto is “Strive for Perfection.” Why wouldn’t you want to do that?


In that pursuit, books are important. They are tangible. The books I pull from my shelves to stack around me are dependent on the subject matter I am writing of at the time. Fiction guides for fiction writing, social media manuals for translating that mystery, word origins and usage books when I am focusing on particular words, thesauri for word reminders, forensics books for crime writing…you get the idea.


What would we do without words? We would be communicating in sounds. But, we have translated sounds into words, haven’t we? A e i o u are sounds, right? As we built words around these sounds, the language became more and more complex. Don’t we owe it to ourselves and our readers to be as precise as possible when using those words?


Words fill books. Get to know them, intimately. Make them your friends.


Love words and one day you may be called a “word nazi,” a term I consider to be a compliment.


Fun with Flash Fiction

Writer’s Challenge

By Annette Rey

Writers have to master the English language, the rules of composition, grammar, and punctuation just to translate their ideas to the page. But that’s not enough. They have to learn how to write queries, and do the footwork to find to whom to send them. They have to build a recognizable platform, and spend the time getting their name out there on Facebook and Twitter and other social media outlets. Additionally, they must seek out legal information on copyright, copyright infringement, contract terms, and even how much to charge for freelance work. And this is not an exhaustive list.

So when does the writer have some fun with his craft?

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What is Punctuation?

A Few Thoughts on a Big Subject

By Annette Rey

Punctuation – what is it? It is the marks on paper or screen that represent what our physical bodies would be doing at the time we would be saying the words verbally. What do I mean by that? Well, for instance, I can write “She sang the song.” Or “She sang the song!” Or “She sang the song.” Or “She sang the song.” Or “She sang the song.” Or “She sang The Song.” Verbally, I would put inflected sounds of my voice on the italicized words. Additionally, I might use hand gestures, grimaces (if the singing was poor), lifted eyebrows, jumping up and down if enthused, and clapping my hands! All of these movements and inflections would punctuate my verbal story to you.

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How to Avoid Embarrassing Errors

All of Us Make Them

By Annette Rey

You hate it when it happens. You pressed send and later find out there are errors in your submission.

How could that happen when you took all the protective steps of proofreading and editing?

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