People ask me all the time (and by all the time, I mean never), “Liz, what is your favorite grammatical/punctuational structure?” It’s hard to narrow it down to just one (although you’re probably already aware of my love for the Oxford comma), but if I happened to be in a life-or-death of language situation, it would probably be the parenthetical statement.
Most of the fun of writing is using your words to tell a story. They course across the page, delighting in the joys of Maureen finally finding her Henry, shuddering as Ingrid uncovers her third dead body of the day, or mourning with Carlos for his lost mother. But I’m not here to talk about words. I’m here to sing the praises of punctuation; specifically, the Oxford comma.
Most people I’ve met have no idea what the Oxford comma is, but it’s probably something that you have used in the past. What is it?
My mother seems to appreciate having a grammar lover in the family. For Christmas one year, she bought me the book I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar. (By the way, it is equally correct to say “bad grammar.”) Last week, my mother emailed to ask if she was using the word “nor” correctly, which brings me to today’s post: the use of either, neither, and the connecting words that go with them.
Finishing a first draft is a huge deal. If you just accomplished this, be proud of yourself! At the same time, you might be wondering how to revise a novel after that first draft is done. There’s a lot of advice out there. Which do you listen to?
The revision process doesn’t have to be complicated. However, you might feel—especially if this is your first completed draft ever—intimidated to edit your book. There’s a lot of words and scenes to review. Where do you begin?
In this article, I’d like to share how I took a daunting editing process and created a simplified, concise, and clear strategy to revising your first draft. I do this with what I call a Revision List—a table with five columns that can help you simplify big ideas.
If you’re like me, you won’t ever want to edit a first draft without it!