“As a writer, one of the first lessons you learn is to show not tell your story. One of the most effective ways to do this is by using the dialogue of the characters to move the story along.” The editor said to a young writer he’s just met at a conference. “The key to any good fiction story is how compelling the characters are and by the use of dialogue to make the characters come alive. Only by making the reader care about the occupants of your story can you accomplish good story telling.”
Let’s start with the end – the full stop. There’s nothing worse than being led down the garden path with a long winding sentence, that doesn’t really seem to go anywhere, that slowly starts to bore you to death with all of the commas, and don’t forget the conjunctions, that are trying to hold the terribly long sentence together. Now, wasn’t that boring? Didn’t it make you want to tear your hair out? Not a full stop to be seen.
Question 1 – Grammar is:
A) the nice lady your mother calls Mum, who bakes tasty chocolate chip cookies;
B) your mother singing a telegram; or
So you finally have the time to finish that story. Your outline touches on every aspect of the plot. You’ve made it the best that it can be. You’re sure your efforts have the right mix of suspense, humor, clarity and originality.
Perhaps the best way to illustrate the importance and effect of proper punctuation is to imagine reading a piece of writing without it. Supposing you were to read this entire article – all 900 words of it – with absolutely no punctuation. Not just the obvious periods and commas, but no colons, dashes, exclamation marks or question marks.
Never end a sentence with a preposition! This is one of the first rules of writing you may have learnt in high school English. It is the one grammar rule that was always enforced, especially when writing essays. It is also one of the easiest rules to break, because sometimes a sentence just doesn’t sound right any other way. So the question at hand is whether or not this rule holds true today.
As a new writer, you may be faced with a unique struggle – you know what you want to say, but not how to say it. The ideas are there – but not the structure. As you become more comfortable with your craft, you will also enhance your knowledge of the correct use of grammar in your work. It is often difficult to learn how to use correct sentence structure in your fiction or non-fiction writing. There are four main issues to address that will improve the quality of your writing: non-agreement of verbs and their correlating subjects; sentence fragments and incomplete thoughts; run-on sentences and comma splice errors; and improper order of sentence elements.
No matter how fantastic the short story you have written may be, without a catchy title the chances are good that an editor will not read it. The title is the most important part of the story as this is what first captures the reader’s attention.