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Get Your Grammar Fix(ed): Semicolons, a Balancing Act

How do you feel about semicolons? 

This super cute card is available from Fishcakes by Voz on Etsy. Oh, the stuff.

There's a movement to oust them from polite fiction society. But whether or not you're a fan, Grammar-me says correct usage is important. 

I've met some semicolon-haters; I've met adoring believers.

Some writers use them sparingly; some overuse them.

A disappointing number of published writers use them incorrectly. (This is why editors earn their keep). *wink*

Today, my plan is to: 

  • explain the balancing act, the role of a semicolon
  • give you other options with the "degrees of separation" 
  • mention one other way semicolons can be used in fiction and
  • hear back from you 

Three Ways to Engage Your Readers

'Ello, loves.

I've been having such fun with the Spelunking Speculative Fiction series. Meeting and chatting with these authors has been...all sorts of things. Enlightening. Hilarious. Challenging. 

Today, I'm introducing you to someone new to me. Jackie Castle, freelance writer, novelist, illustrator, educator. This woman has such imagination. 

And here's what she's got to say about engaging your readers.

Kurt Vonnegut's 8 Rules for Writing

Were I to have the privilege of sitting somewhere in time past and listening to Kurt Vonnegut, I'm sure I would leave unsettled.  

Shocked probably. Maybe irked. Moved, I think.

But I guarantee you this. 

I would be uncomfortable with Things as They Are.

Spelunking Speculative Fiction: An Unexpected Series

How does a series...and maybe a spin-off series come to be? When you world-build, you invest time, energy, dreams. You come up with nations, political systems, cultures - maybe languages, races, religions.

Spelunking Speculative Fiction: High Fantasy Rules!

High fantasy vs. low fantasy.

Nah, we're not watching them wrestle. We're talking about the difference. For many writers, low fantasy - fantasy that takes place in our world, whatever time period - is fun. You can focus on the plot twists and character, toss in paranormal details or magic, without having to come up with something other than Newton's laws. 

The world was designed for you, and only the story - maybe a few other races of beings - are yours to create. 

But in high fantasy, the world is yours. And so are the rules.

Aw, YEAH. Winners and Wisdom

Aw, yeah. We have a winner for both Mary Weber's signed copy of Siren's Fury and a signed copy of Jess Evander's Saving Yesterday. 


But first...

This is something that peeves a lot of people: mixing up the words awe, aw, ah, and aah!

Spelunking Spec-Fic: Writing YA Spec Romance Without the Heavy . . . er, Romance

Have you seen this stunning cover? I can't even.

LOOK at that. It released YESTERDAY, loves. 

If you stay until the end, underneath Mary's bio is an easy way to win a signed copy to carry around with you. 

(What? People do that.)

Mary Weber is with us today to talk about writing (and not writing) romance.

Mary, do it.

I have a confession.

Get Your Grammar Fix(ed): Participles

Last week, I talked about verbs which masquerade as other parts of speech. For the sake of being thorough and keeping things together for our new readers, I'm bringing Perry Participle back for another round. If you read this last year, you're free to decide whether the refresher will benefit you or no.