List of Prefixes and Suffixes and their Meanings

List of Prefixes and Suffixes and their Meanings

This post lists prefixes, suffixes, and their meanings. (Many scientific and mathematical prefixes have been omitted.) Groups of one or more definitions after a prefix that are separated by a semicolon stem from different senses of the prefix. Note, too, that some prefixes share the spelling of distinct words (for example, under) or have been coined as distinct words themselves by omitting the base word when that word is implied (for example, hyper). Many prefixes have variants that are used…

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Review: James Patterson’s MasterClass Course on Writing

Review: James Patterson’s MasterClass Course on Writing

If you’ve not come across MasterClass before, it’s a very slick website that offers courses from some huge names in the world of writing (and in quite a few other fields too). Their course tutors include Dan Brown, Margaret Atwood, Judy Bloom, Malcolm Gladwell, R.L Stine, and Neil Gaiman: a truly impressive line-up that you’d probably pay a hefty fee to see speak in real life. Each course is structured as a set of short video lessons, and these lessons…

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8 Great Podcasts for Writers and Book Authors

8 Great Podcasts for Writers and Book Authors

There is a lot of writing advice out there. Perhaps you’ve signed up to read lots of blogs by email, you’ve bought some great writing-related books, and you still feel like something’s missing. Or maybe your reading time is limited: you can’t very well scroll through blogs while you’re driving to work, for instance. That’s when podcasts come in. Whether you’re looking for encouragement or instruction, podcasts are a great way to get writing advice (often from award-winning and/or bestselling…

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8 Great Writing Tips for Kids

8 Great Writing Tips for Kids

I’m 33 now (which feels very old!) but I’ve loved writing since I was a kid myself. The very first story I remember writing was about a mouse, when I was five or six. I spent a lot of time writing stories throughout my childhood, and I had a go at my first novel when I was thirteen. Writing has always been one of my favourite things to do … and for the last ten years, it’s been what I’ve…

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Writing Online: 7 Great Opportunities for Freelancers in 2019

Writing Online: 7 Great Opportunities for Freelancers in 2019

If you’re struggling to earn a living as a freelance writer, you’ve probably looked at many opportunities for writing online. The question is, which of them pay well? You’ve probably noticed that writing short blog posts often brings tiny paychecks. What pays better? The good news is, there are types of online writing where pay is better. Based on the input from writers in my 1,100-member freelance-writer community, here’s what will pay well in 2019 (in alphabetical order): 1. Case…

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Writing with Speech Recognition Software

Writing with Speech Recognition Software

A professional writer might add a thousand words a day to their rough draft. With speech recognition software, some writers can add several thousand. That’s one reason why more writers are choosing to dictate their books. Today the error rate of speech recognition software has improved to within a percentage point of a human being. According to IBM, even a human transcriptionist hears the wrong word 4 or 5 percent of the time. IBM reached 5.5 percent in 2017. Google…

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How to Check Cross-References

How to Check Cross-References

A word, phrase, or sentence that directs the reader to related information in the same document (or, in the case of online content, perhaps a different document), whether said document is an article or a book, is called a cross-reference. This post discusses best practices in employing cross-references. In printed or online content, a cross-reference is a text element that introduces the reader to a subsequent element of content, whether text or one or more graphic elements. For example, an…

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List of 50 Great Word Games for Kids and Adults

List of 50 Great Word Games for Kids and Adults

If you want to improve your writing, maybe it’s time to ditch all the writing books and podcasts and play some word games instead. Yes, seriously! Word games and writing games are great ways to develop your vocabulary, to help you think more deeply about words, to have fun with story and structure, and to get a lot of fun out of writing. But games can be a great way to: Develop your vocabulary Help you think more deeply about…

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Writing Within Limitations

Writing Within Limitations

A writer can’t do anything he or she wants. Every human being – you too – is bound by limitations. Our readers are limited because they are human. A skillful writer learns to work with these limitations. Don’t overload the emotions of your readers. Escalating the emotional level of your story makes it interesting, you may say, so why not do it unceasingly? If one or two spies add tension to a novel, why not include forty-eight or forty-nine spies?…

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3 Types of Word Treatment

3 Types of Word Treatment

Spelling, capitalization, and italicization are three aspects of writing that careful writers will attend to. This post discusses the importance of recognizing standards and making conscious decisions when contemplating deviating from them. Spelling Employing proper spelling is one of the fundamentals of composition. Unfortunately, the explosive increase in writing opportunities afforded by the internet and social media makes it easier for careless writers to spread viral errors. Where in the past, few print publications would allow mistakes like definately and…

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