Writing Corner: Swearing

Today I’m going to talk about using swearing in your writing. Swearing as an idea is not very well defined but I am going to use it to mean any words that are crude, religiously profane, graphic, or sexual. Books are not usually rated, but movies are so we can think of swearing as anything…

Writing Corner: Framing Devices

Normally when we read a story, the narrator is simply telling us the story, whether it is a narrator outside the story (3rd person) or a character in the story (1st person). This is a one-level story. However, sometimes, just like a frame around a picture, one story can be wrapped around another. This is…

Writing Corner: Custom Adjectives

One cool thing about English is that we make words out of everything (an example of this is the verb to word, which means to make a word out of anything). One way we do this is to make adjectives out of people’s names. We usually use last names since they are more distinctive. Here…

Writing Corner: The Dinkus

This is post about something you have probably seen many times in books but don’t know the name of (at least I didn’t know it until recently.) A dinkus is a break in the writing and is usually made with three stars, like this: *         *         * How to Use a Dinkus A dinkus is…

Writing Corner: Editing

There is a lot you could say about editing, but I’m not going to try to say it all here. In general, editing is the process of making a piece of writing better. It’s a bit like if you have a rough diamond you just dug out of the ground. If you want to sell…

Writing Corner: Writing Programs

There are many ways to write, including with a pen and paper, or by carving words into a stone wall. However, I’m guessing that when you write, you probably usually use a computer. And on a computer, there is no end to different applications you can use to write. I’m going to look at three…

Writing Corner: The Public Domain

What is the Public Domain? When someone publishes a story, they usually keep the copyright to that story. That means that they are the only one who can sell that story or write other stories with the same characters or setting. For example, as much as you might want to, you cannot publish a story…

Writing Corner: Fantasy Names

Let’s say you are writing a story in a made-up world. The good news is that you can create the world however you’d like. Here is more discussion about that. However, now you have a lot of names to create, both for characters and places. How do you do that? We’re going to look at…

Writing Corner: Quality vs. Quantity

One piece of writing advice you will hear a lot is to write every day. This makes sense since, like any skill, you need to practice to get better. You become a good swimmer by swimming, not by thinking about swimming. However, what should you be writing? Should you write a lot of new stories…

Writing Corner: Ellipses

Ellipses When you see three dots together (like this: …), this is called an ellipsis. Because of English’s entertaining grammar rules, the plural of ellipsis is ellipses (just like other words that come from Greek and end in -is). Whenever you see this, it means that something is missing. You usually see these in non-fiction,…