A Writer’s Calling Card

It’s Not What You Think

By Annette Rey

As writers, we are always looking for inspiration for a new slant on old ideas, for freshness inside ourselves. It’s fine to write gloom and thunder and broken hearts but I think all writers need UP messages and a cheerful attitude to draw them in, to begin their journey into expressing their voice on the printed page.

So we need a calling card, something that calls US into the act of writing. Let’s look at UP calls and see where that brings us.

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Capitalizing Your Title Words

A Little Help Goes a Long Way

By Annette Rey

I am here to help writers with the smallest of details. And it can be a small detail that catapults your work to notice or gives you a bad name as a writer.

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Wildly vs. Widely

SO Commonly Confused

By Annette Rey

This particular misuse occurs frequently, on all kinds of platforms of television programs, radio, and in daily conversation. Recently I heard it on a commercial. Curious?

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What is the Subject of Your Sentence?

Avoid Confusion for Your Listener

By Annette Rey

I think like a writer and I can’t turn it off; so I find writing material wherever life takes me.

While waiting at a cemetery for a funeral director, I overheard an employee attempt to direct a person to a particular grave section. The words she chose left me confused and it took me some moments to make sense of what she said.

This is what I heard.

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Literal vs. Figurative

Little Things Mean A Lot

By Annette Rey

Writers do so much to avoid making mistakes in their writing. They dread seeing a mistake in a final piece of work in black and white on the web or on paper. Writers have to juggle rules of grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, spelling, word usage, plot, scene, theme, and more.

With all this on their minds, simple errors can be committed.

Let’s look at the words literal and figurative, both adjectives.

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Getting Rid of He Said, She Said

Well, Mostly

By Annette Rey

Writing groups on Facebook are full of people asking simple and complex questions related to their works in progress. The other day someone posed the question about dialogue. “What do you do to avoid using he said, she said? How do you designate which character is speaking?”

This post gives expert writing tips and advice on this important question and gives dialogue examples without using the word said.

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A New Trick to Jump-Start Your Writing

Getting Back In the Groove

By Annette Rey

Though I have written a few flash fictions (I find them to be exceptionally easy to create), I have been having trouble with the discipline required to write for this site. My last post explained that my writing wind left my sails (a cliché) since the death of my brother. And though a voice calls me to the computer for daily entries since then, I do not obey.

Today, I cooperated, opened my laptop, and sat without an idea in my head.

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Fewer or Less?

Easy Hint to Know the Difference

By Annette Rey

Your writing is flowing. You’re sliding along like an oiled zipper. Then, darn, you hit a snag. A sentence you are constructing is posing a problem. You’re not sure which word to use. In this case, the words to choose from are fewer or less. Some writers move on and keep writing, planning to correct later. Some writers, like me, stop forward momentum and waffle with a word choice.

All writers can avoid either scenario by learning in advance which of these words to use. It’s a matter of memory and I have a hint for you.

Keep your writing flowing. Read on.

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Colorful, Catchy Narrative

Radio Noir

By Annette Rey

Oh, for the days language was used that slapped the listener in the head, jangled his brain, and imparted a vivid visual view in a flash of a second. Machine gun language denoting so much information the listener is running a sentence behind the descriptive narrative. Radio language was used decoratively, stretching metaphors beyond the meaning of the technique.

When I’m driving, I listen to Sirius Classic Radio broadcasts from the 1930s and 1940s. This is how I can learn from, enjoy, and appreciate stimulating script writing.

I’d like to share the following excerpts with you.

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Book Review of Sin and Syntax by Constance Hale

By Annette Rey

The full title of the book is Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wicked Good Prose. I am only through Chapter Four and I am miles smarter than I was before. Ok, so, let’s agree I am miles more informed. And I know of what I speak. My library is full of instructional books on writing and, yes, I have read them. Some stand out from the others, but I’d say this one leads the pack.

Constance Hale has command of the English language and uses that skill to generously inform her audience. She includes grammatical detail without fogging the facts with superfluous words. She smoothly weaves correct English usage among short pieces of the works of other authors, and adds appropriate and entertaining quotes. She deftly demonstrates participles and other language conundrums so they can be understood. The way she illustrates the parts of speech in a piece of work illuminate the idea bulb above my head, and old mysteries are made clear.

Ms. Hale uses terms like “adjective-polluted” and sentences like: Adverbs are crashers in the syntax house party.

I suggest buying the book just to passionately (oops! adverb!) treasure pages 64-70. If you love fluent use of the English language, you will understand why I want these pages, this book, in my personal book collection.

The book reads like a story, not like a manual or guide or boring instructional course. I am immersed in the book and can’t put it down. At the end of chapter four is a directive from Ms Hale, an exercise, to write of a turbulent sky. I chose this moment to write of a sky view I have seen, so beautiful, I did not want to minimize it by my feeble attempts to describe it. Yet, on her directive, I did so. And I accomplished a great thing. I wrote that sky.

Study this book. Enjoy this book. It will make you a better writer.

It’s a book I look forward to reading again.