Category Archives: Writing Tips

These are tips i have read from authors or other organizations that i have found helpful, hopefully they will be helpful to you also.

Positive Feedback!!

Happy Monday, fellow writers (published and unpublished).

You are probably thinking, ‘Siren, It’s Monday. Why are you in such a good mood?’

Well i’m in a great mood because I entered a writing contest a few weeks ago, the results are now in and guess what – I LOST. 🙂

Yep you heard me correcty, I lost, I didn’t even make it to the finals.

BUT: I did receive positive feedback from one of the editors and you know what? Her feedback has helped me alot. I see places in my story that need a lot of work and places that need to be strengthened. I didn’t lose the contest because i’m a bad writer, I lost because my story was weak. The plot wasn’t heavy enough. There wasn’t enough conflict to keep my damsel and hero apart and not enough romance to bring them together.

But I love the story line of my book and I believe it can become a great story, but it’s up to me to make it a great story!

So i’m going to take the editors advice and work on it, have others read it, work on it some more – then resubmit it.

The moral of the story is: Losing is not always bad. It’s what you do with the loss that makes it bad. I plan to use my loss as motivation and work harder and study the craft of writing more.

Remember – never give up.

Have a great day all!!
xoxo Siren

When Comma’s Attack!!!!,,,

Hi all, today’s tip comes from my Daily Writing Tip emails that i receive from dailywritingtips.com. If you haven’t signed up to receive their tips you are truly missing out on some helpful information.

Today’s tip is in regards to comma usage. If you are like me, the more comma’s the better. However, our comma usage may not always be grammatically correct. Read the info below to see if you are using comma’s illegally, 🙂

5 Cases of Excessive Commas

Posted: 25 Feb 2013 08:24 PM PST

The rules about commas can seem so complicated — and contradictory — that writers can (almost) be forgiven for tossing in an extra one or two. Here are several examples of overly generous deployment of commas.

1. “If a killer asteroid was, indeed, incoming, a spacecraft could, in theory, be launched to nudge the asteroid out of Earth’s way, changing its speed and the point of intersection.”
This thirty-word sentence is littered with six commas — one for every five words — five of them appearing before the halfway point. By simply bending the rule about bracketing interjections with commas — a rule that advocates of open punctuation flout routinely anyway — the number is reduced by two, rendering the sentence more free flowing: “If a killer asteroid was indeed incoming, a spacecraft could, in theory, be launched to nudge the asteroid out of Earth’s way, changing its speed and the point of intersection.”

One more comma can be eliminated by relocating the parenthetical phrase “in theory” to an earlier position in the sentence, so that the comma after incoming does double duty: “If a killer asteroid was indeed incoming, in theory, a spacecraft could be launched to nudge the asteroid out of Earth’s way, changing its speed and the point of intersection.”

2. “The metaphor, ‘The world is a machine,’ began to replace the metaphor, ‘The world is a living organism.’”
In this sentence, the comma preceding each instance of metaphor implies that that metaphor is the only one — not just in the sentence, but anywhere. (But two metaphors are expressed here, and innumerable others exist.) Metaphor, appearing in apposition to the two brief quotations, should not be set off from them: “The metaphor ‘The world is a machine’ began to replace the metaphor ‘The world is a living organism.’”

3. “The event is part of a catchy, public health message about the importance of emergency preparedness.”
Catchy and “public health” are not coordinate adjectives. The point is not that the message is catchy and public health; it’s that the public health message is catchy. Therefore, no comma is necessary: “The event is part of a catchy public health message about the importance of emergency preparedness.”

If, by contrast, the sentence read, for example, “The event is part of a catchy, quirky message about the importance of emergency preparedness,” note that because catchy and quirky are parallel — they are coordinate adjectives — a comma should separate them.

4. “The report was completed in December, 2012.”
A comma is necessary between a month and a year only if a date is specified (“The report was completed on December 1, 2012”): “The report was completed in December 2012.” (The same rule applies when the name of a season appears in place of the name of a month: “The report was completed in fall 2012.”)

5. “Jones traveled by boxcar from California to New York with fellow fledgling artist, John Smith, sketching the American landscape along the way.”
Commas are necessary with this type of apposition only if the epithet is preceded by an article (“Jones traveled by boxcar from California to New York with a fellow fledgling artist, John Smith, sketching the American landscape along the way”): “Jones traveled by boxcar from California to New York with fellow fledgling artist John Smith sketching the American landscape along the way.” Unfortunately, this type of error has gone viral — its ubiquity is mistaken for propriety — and is seemingly ineradicable.

*****Very informative. Hope this helped someone. Happy writing!
xoxo Siren

Writing tip – Contests: To enter or not to enter!?!?!

I recently entered a writing contest and lost. 😦 I came in sixth place out of about nine people. Yeah it sucked to lose, but it was and is a learning experience. I received feedback from the judges; their critique’s were very helpful. Todays writing tip is: Enter writing contest and challenges. It helps you grow as a writer. You learn what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. You may not win them all but even when you lose you gain experience as a writer. No great writer became that way the moment they put pencil to paper or hand to keyboard. They had to learn the craft and write, write, and write some more.

Hope this helps someone,
xoxo Siren

Grammar – How I Hate Thee – Let Me Count The Ways!

Hello fellow writers. Today I’m giving you another writing tip from the Daily Writing website. Stop by there and read some of their tips, very informative. You can sign up on their website to receive free writing tips via email. Today’s tips is about compound words and when you should and should not use them.

5 Compound-Word Corrections

Posted: 20 Feb 2013 06:51 PM PST

Writers sometimes confuse a two-word phrase for a closed compound noun consisting of those two words, or vice versa. Here are five cases in which a noun phrase or a verb phrase was mistaken for a compound word or the other way around.

1. “Eating McDonald’s food everyday for four weeks turned this filmmaker into a bloated, depressed wreck.”
Everyday is an adjective (“It’s not an everyday occurrence”). “Every day” is a phrase consisting of an adjective and a noun (“That’s not something you see every day”). In this sentence, the usage is adjective-plus-noun: “Eating McDonald’s food every day for four weeks turned this filmmaker into a bloated, depressed wreck.”

2. “Seen as both godsend and a major let down, it remains the city’s artistic center.”
“Let down,” consisting of a verb and an adverb, is employed in such sentences as “He was let down.” As a closed compound, it’s a noun: “That’s a real letdown.” In this sentence, it should be in noun form: “Seen as both godsend and a major letdown, it remains the city’s artistic center.”

3. “Resistance from the state legislature could doom the governor-elect’s promise to rollback the hike.”
A rollback is a thing (“The rollback proposal failed in committee”); to roll back is to perform an action (“The state will roll back the price hike”). This sentence refers to an action, not a thing, so the compound must be changed to a verb phrase: “Resistance from the state legislature could doom the governor-elect’s promise to roll back the hike.”

4. “California gave a record $100 million loan to bailout schools.”
As in the previous example, what is in context an action is styled as a noun. The sentence should read, “California gave a record $100 million loan to bail out schools.” Better yet, close the sentence with the preposition: “California gave a record $100 million loan to bail schools out.”

5. “International organizations continue their pull out as rebels attack a train.”
If the sentence read that the organizations continued to pull out, the two-word verb phrase would be correct. But pulling out is an action, so it’s a pullout: “International organizations continue their pullout as rebels attack a train.”

Hope this has helped someone,
xoxo Siren.

2-19-13 Tip #3

Today’s writing tip comes from http://www.dailywritingtips.com. They have a lot of helpful tips on their site. The one i read this morning discusses the use of hyphens. You can sign up for their email service for free and they will email you tips like the one i’m posting today.

http://www.dailywritingtips.com/3-cases-of-extraneous-hyphens/

Hope you find this helpful. Remember keep writing and never give up.
xoxo Siren

2-18-13 Tip # 2

http://wildrosepress.us/publisher/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=108&Itemid=142

This is a link to The Wild Rose Press – A publishing company, who by the way are accepting submissions. I found this link on their page and decided to share it. It talks about starting off small as a new writer.

If you are not able to write a 100,000 word novel right now, that’s fine. Start with a 5,000 word short story and move up from there.

Today’s writing tip is – Never give up. Hope this motivates someone to keep writing.
xoxo Siren