THERE ARE WRITERS AND THEN THERE ARE WRITERS!
By Jill S. Behe
There is no best word processing program. It’s all about which one is the easiest to use, and the one we’re most comfortable with. For that reason I use MS Word, but when I write, almost one hundred percent of every project is written out longhand. Typing it into WORD.doc, keeps me on track, and at the same time, lets me do a sort offirst edit. Some people type everything out exclusively, and can’t be bothered with pen and paper. There are even writers who still use typewriters.
While typing, inevitably, a word will come up that the MS WORD dictionary doesn’t recognize. One of my ‘go to’ online sites is Dictionary.com. It not only gives definitions, but a also a thesaurus, and for foreign words, a translator tab. I also have (what feels like) a twenty pound dictionary, and a super thesaurus that I use quite often.
Another good practice, besides looking up words with questionable spelling or meaning, is to remember proper punctuation. Run-on sentences are tiring to readers, especially if the writer wasn’t intending such a long drawn out line. Check, for, comma, placement, and, most, definitely, periods……..and question marks.
Exclamation points should be reserved for very, very special occasions. The less the better, because overuse can deflate the power of the sentence. Besides!!!!!!! They tend to stab a reader’s eyes.
There are any number of self-help books on the how-tos of writing. A good writing handbook should be on the shelf of every writer, but especially one with ambitions of publication. All sentences (according to English class) need a subject and predicate (a what?) … that’s a verb. If VERB is an alien word, a good Basic English textbook may be needed.
Yes, fragments are very commonly used by writers. Use them myself quite often. But not ALL sentences in the work should be fragmented. The basic rules of English should be religiously followed in every piece of writing we allow the public to see. Not only because it makes us look smart, and the story sound right, it ratchets up our integrity in the eyes of editors, publishers, and ultimately, our audience.
Profitez de votre journée,