Resource Review · writing

[Writing] Resource – CMOS Hyphenation Table

[Writing] A Byers Editing Blog Series for Writers, Inspiring confidence and imparting the skills for success

Do hyphens drive you crazy? Did you know that the Chicago Manual of Style has a hyphenation table for compound modifiers and commonly used prefixes*? Not only is it in the Manual, it is also available online. I love being able to reference this on my computer, especially if I’m not sitting right next to my copy of the Manual. Click here (PDF – new window) to check it out.

Compound modifiers are those multiple-word phrases that modify a noun (also called phrasal adjectives or adjectival phrases). The Manual‘s general rule is that if the modifier comes before a noun, it is hyphenated, and if the noun comes first, no hyphen is needed. Of course this is just a general rule, refer to your style guide or dictionary if you’re ever unsure.

*These are not the only times that hyphens are appropriate. The main function of a hyphen is to aid in clarity and readability.

What’s your experience with hyphens? Does their usage come easily to you, or is it something you struggle with?

 

Guest

Rhew 2 Rhew Blog Tour – The Importance of Book Covers

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I’m so excited to be back on your blog, Julia! Thanks for having me, and hello to all you readers of Julia’s awesome blog! If you love variety, you’ve come to the right place. Julia’s got it all. Erin and I need to come over for harvest. We’ll bring biscuits and sweet tea! Continue reading “Rhew 2 Rhew Blog Tour – The Importance of Book Covers”

Personal · Tag/Meme · This Week's Five!

This Week’s Five!!!

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Hey there! So, it’s time to know what five things from the past week have bought a smile to my face!

  1. I haven’t said anything here on the blog until now, like RIGHT NOW, but I joined Book Fish Books as a line and copy editor! I am so excited about this! My first project is coming up soon, and while I am nervous, I’m also happy to be having something to focus on.
  2. My garden grows well (I think)!
  3. I’ve been joining in on some blog tours and am excited to be bringing them to the blog. Keep your eyes open!
  4. I really enjoyed writing this review.
  5. There are lots of exciting things coming up this month. I’m looking forward to what April has to bring.

How was your week? Anything in particular to bring a smile to your face?

Resource Review · writing

Checking Your Own [Writing]

[Writing] A Byers Editing Blog Series for Writers, Inspiring confidence and imparting the skills for success

Writing a novel (or anything, for that matter) is quite a lot of work. There are quite a few “rules” and “styles” of English that ultimately become the choice of the author/editor/publishing house, with the key to “correctness” being consistency. Whether  you choose to employ a serial comma is up to you, but do it consistently throughout. Whether you choose to put a character’s thoughts in italics, single quotations, or leave them to be inferred by the reader, do it consistently.

But what about things like names of people and places? Especially if you’ve made them up? I’ve worked on several projects where a person or place’s name has changed throughout. Here’s my solution. Choose which one is “correct.” Do a search and find for any other alternatives that might have turned up. Make sure they are consistent.

You may also want to do the same for commonly misspelled/misused words and words that you know you have a tendency to overuse.

Remember, an editor should catch these things, but the cleaner the manuscript you send to an editor, the more they can focus on catching the bigger problems (check out #4 on this list from Katie McCoach, and read the rest of it, too).

Have you ever found an inconsistency such as these in your own works? How did you go about correcting it?

Resource Review · writing

[Writing] Dialogue – The Basic Mechanics

[Writing] A Byers Editing Blog Series for Writers, Inspiring confidence and imparting the skills for success

I have previously admitted to having some issues with dialogue, and I thought it would be useful to have all my reminders in the same place, so why not share those with you? My problem mostly comes with capitalization, and it gets tiring to keep looking these up. Frankly, while there are some sites I like, I don’t like having to sort through a bunch of places to find what I’m looking for. Continue reading “[Writing] Dialogue – The Basic Mechanics”

Resource Review · writing

Finding the Right [Writing] Revision Process

[Writing] A Byers Editing Blog Series for Writers, Inspiring confidence and imparting the skills for success

I finished the first draft of my novel, now what?

Much like the writing processes and habits, the revising process varies from one person to another. No matter what order is the most effective for your process, there are some shared steps to take. Continue reading “Finding the Right [Writing] Revision Process”

Resource Review

Do More With Your Kindle!

Did you know that you can do more on your Kindle than purchase and read e-books from Amazon/Overdrive/Smashwords/etc.? I’m here to offer another way to utilize this beautiful piece of technology.

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Please note: my experience is based on personal use of a Kindle Keyboard and a Kindle Paperwhite. Other brands and devices may vary.

The following is based on using one simple feature: emailing documents to the device (instructions and link further on).

As a college student, I used this to view the many documents my professors liked to share with us. Not only did it save time, money, and paper, but it was also much lighter and easier to carry around.

As a beta-reader and editor, this feature is super convenient. My experience with Word (.docx) files is pretty easy. Once it has arrived on my device, the highlight and notes features work well for me to record short thoughts or highlight problem areas. While this system isn’t perfect (I haven’t yet seen a way to export the document with highlights and notes), it’s still very convenient. I am able to make my first read-through of a client’s manuscript without being attached to my computer. This has an added benefit: I read their work on more than one type of screen, which is good for catching a better percentage of errors (I am human, after all).

Here’s the technical part of sending documents to your Kindle.

Your Kindle has its own unique e-mail address. On the Amazon website, go to the “Your Account” menu, “Manage Your Content and Devices,” and click “Settings” (the far right choice). Scroll down a bit, and Amazon will list your Kindle e-mail address(es) and their associated device. Recently I’ve found that as long as I send it to one of my kindle addresses, the document is available in the cloud for whichever device I decide to use.

Wait! This isn’t the only information you need. Scroll down just  a little more. “Approved Personal Document E-mail List” contains a list of the e-mails that your Kindle can ACCEPT e-mails from. If you don’t add your address (or wherever your documents are coming from), they won’t get to your Kindle! You really don’t want to know how long it took me to figure out why they weren’t sending at first…

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Amazon’s help page for “Kindle Personal Documents Service” has specific instructions and file types supported.

I hope this has been a helpful tip on another way to use your Kindle. Happy Reading!

Resource Review

Resources! Punctuation and Capitalization in Dialogue

Have you ever said a word over and over again until you aren’t even sure what the word is? Until it loses all meaning and you begin to question the meaning of words at all, to question the meaning of life?

Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration.

Dialogue is one of those things for me. I know how to capitalize and punctuate dialogue, but when I think about it too much, I start to second-guess myself. It’s one of the things I find myself looking up from time to time because my mind has warped my thoughts to the point of feeling like I’ve never known a single thing about it. Usually, when I do look it up, I’ve been doing everything correctly, but it sure is crazy the power of the mind to make you second-guess something you know you know.

This post, Punctuation in Dialogue from The Editor’s Blog by Beth Hill is one I keep coming back to. In a single article it answers most of the questions I find myself asking, and is written clearly. I love that I can easily discern between examples and explanation.

There are some follow-up posts, More Punctuation in Dialogue–A Reader’s QuestionsEven More Punctuation in Dialogue–A Reader’s Question, and a downloadable Punctuation in Dialogue (PDF). I haven’t invested the 99 cents for the PDF, the articles are usually sufficient for my needs.

So, if you find yourself, like me, sitting cross-eyed and contemplating dialogue, I think these articles are a good place to start.

Personal

This Week’s Five!!!

Fall This Weeks Five

Five things I enjoyed this week:

  1. Our health is back to normal!
  2. The Creative Penn’s post – Writing And Editing Fiction: 7 Things To Fix In Your First Self-Edit.
  3. The rain! Ok, so I know it’s been a bit much in some places, but rain really does make me happy, so I’m thankful we’re finally getting some (more).
  4. My son woke himself up by laughing one day this week.
  5. There’s an entire bag of candy in the kitchen.

And you know what? Five isn’t enough this week, so here’s some more.

  • I’ve been listening to a “Relaxation” radio station that has been playing mostly piano music, and a lot of them are the hymns we used to sing in church when I was a kid. The songs transport me back in time 20 years, and I’m back in that small sanctuary, listening to the voices all mix and mingle together. It’s a very distinct and peaceful feeling.
  • I got to witness a friend’s novel make it to #2 in Amazon’s Science Fiction > Space Opera best sellers (free), and it has also made it’s way to #12 in the general Science Fiction best sellers. I love seeing others’ success!
  • I’ve decided to do National Novel Writing Month, and this year there are a lot of people I would consider friends doing it, too, so maybe I’ll actually “win” this time because I won’t be all alone.

I could probably go on with some more, but I like to try and keep these short and sweet.

How was your week? What are some things you enjoyed? Anything exciting in the close future?