Adjectives and Adverbs Guide

Adjectives and Adverbs Guide

This post discusses two categories of parts and speech key to helping writers describe things and actions. Adjectives An adjective is a word or a combination of two or more words that modify or provide additional information about a noun. There are three general uses of adjectives: attributive, predicate, and nominal. An attributive adjective generally precedes the noun it modifies, as with broken in “a broken heart.” (One type of attributive adjective is a noun adjunct, a noun that functions…

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Primes and Princes

Primes and Princes

This post lists and defines words deriving from the adjective primus, meaning “first” or “finest.” premier: first, or earliest; as a noun, a synonym for “prime minister”premier danseur/première danseuse: the first male and female dancer, respectively, in a ballet companypremiere: most commonly, a first performance or broadcast of a performing-arts production or the first day of an exhibition (and, rarely, the leading actress in a production); as a verb, pertains to appearing for the first time in a starring role,…

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10 Tools and Resources to Write the Perfect Resume

10 Tools and Resources to Write the Perfect Resume

If you read my post of resume tips a few weeks ago, you’ll already be familiar with best practice for writing a great resume. While there’s nothing wrong with hand-crafting your resume in Microsoft Word (or your word processor of choice), there are plenty of online tools that can save you lots of time by formatting your resume in seconds. Plus, if you’re still struggling with exactly what to put on your resume in the first place – there’s lots…

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Finding Experts Who Want to Help With Your Writing Project

Finding Experts Who Want to Help With Your Writing Project

You’ve probably read those acknowledgements at the back of a book: “Special thanks to Nobel Prize winner Niels Ryberg Finsen for the many hours of medical advice and strong coffee he shared with me, without which this book would not be possible.” And you’ve wondered what it takes to get a world-famous expert of your own, one who could answer the nagging technical questions that come up in your writing project. Now, unless you’re working on a book for a…

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How to Write Your First Screenplay

How to Write Your First Screenplay

Have you ever daydreamed about writing for the big screen? I know I have! Writing a screenplay that gets picked up by Hollywood could see your story reach millions of people – whereas even bestselling novels often only sell in the tens of thousands. Writing a screenplay is very different from writing a short story or a novel, though. There are some specific conventions that you need to know about, in terms of the structure of your story itself, and…

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7 Flawed Sentences Redeemed by Commas

7 Flawed Sentences Redeemed by Commas

The simple insertion, deletion, or relocation of a comma (or two) can alter a sentence’s meaning, so when writing or editing a sentence, carefully analyze it to determine whether the punctuation (or lack thereof) serves its intended meaning or whether it creates grammatical confusion. The following examples illustrate the significant difference punctuation can make; discussion after each sentence explains the problem and provides a solution. 1. Relaxed capital and leverage requirements are favorable to depository institutions as they allow institutions…

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7 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

7 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

Every writer, at times, has trouble thinking of what to say next. Or what to say at all. The cause may be fear, pressure, perfectionism, but often lack of inspiration. No doubt even Mesopotamian scribes of five thousand years ago hesitated before putting stylus to tablet. We’ve written about writer’s block several times over the years, and here are seven practical suggestions to ease the symptoms of writer’s block. 1. Give yourself something to edit Seeing all my mistakes motivates…

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Counting and Accounting

Counting and Accounting

This post lists and describes words deriving from the Latin verb computare, meaning “sum up,” that, unlike computer and the like, do not closely follow the original spelling. Count derives its diversion from the spelling of computare from its journey to English through Old French, which spelled the verb conter. To count is to add up (“Count the money”), consider (“Count yourself lucky you didn’t get hurt”), or record (“Count me in”). It also means “depend on,” “deserve to be…

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Micro-editing: Writing a Very Short Summary, Abstract or Synopsis

Micro-editing: Writing a Very Short Summary, Abstract or Synopsis

As a writer, I have probably learned the most from having tight word counts. In several assignments, each piece had to be 150 words or less, or 250 words or less, or three lines or less. Sometimes the whole publication had to fit on one page, or in one column. This kind of micro-editing is common with summaries of news articles, query letters to publishers, and abstracts of academic papers. Techniques for micro-editing Cut ideas before words Deliberately limiting the…

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Top 10 Online Tools for Writers

Top 10 Online Tools for Writers

All writers need a helping hand now and again – and having the best tools at your fingertips can make a huge difference. I’ve picked my favourite tools that will work for almost all writers – whether you’re a blogger, a novelist, a freelancer, or (like me) a bit of everything. We’ll take a look at: Four tools to help you focus when you’re writing – for many writers, this is the biggest challenge! Four tools to help you store…

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