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How to Use Possessives to Show Ownership

How to Use Possessives to Show Ownership

Possessives are a funny thing. When used correctly, they add much-needed clarity to our sentences. But they seem to confound our apostrophe rules.

Let’s sort out this grammar conundrum, shall we? With these rules mastered, you’ll clear up your readers’ confusion and use possessives like a pro.

5 Grammar Hacks for Writers Who Hate Grammar

5 Grammar Hacks for Writers Who Hate Grammar

I see this in comments on The Write Practice all the time. “I want to be a writer, but I know nothing about grammar.” I don’t have a degree in English or Journalism, either.

I am, though, a writer. For those of you who have decided you are a writer too, you don’t need a degree in English or be an expert in grammar. There are a few grammar hacks I’ve learned that have helped me.

How to Organize Writing Feedback so You Can Rewrite With Confidence

How to Organize Writing Feedback so You Can Rewrite With Confidence

If you’re a writer, you’ve probably received feedback. While some writing feedback is easily processed (like quick compliments), the best feedback takes time and energy to deal with. Receiving a flood of critiques can feel good at first. But after reading a deluge of opinions and observations and judgments, it can get really overwhelming.

Here’s how to organize the feedback you receive so you can approach the next draft with confidence!

Why You Need to be Using the Oxford Comma

Why You Need to be Using the Oxford Comma

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?

The Ultimate Point of View Guide: Third Person Omniscient vs. Third Person Limited vs. First Person

The Ultimate Point of View Guide: Third Person Omniscient vs. Third Person Limited vs. First Person

As an editor, point of view problems are among the top mistakes I see inexperienced writers make, and they instantly erode credibility and reader trust.

However, point of view is simple to master if you use common sense.

This post will define point of view, go over each of the major POVs, explain a few of the POV rules, and then point out the major pitfalls writers make when dealing with that point of view.

Giveaway: Win ProWritingAid and Become a Grammar Master

Giveaway: Win ProWritingAid and Become a Grammar Master

Want to correct your grammar and improve your writing style? ProWritingAid has everything you need to take your writing to the next level, whether you’re looking for some grammar pointers or you’re a seasoned author and want to refine your style. We’re giving away two years of ProWritingAid to one lucky writer. Will you win?

The Complete Guide to Italicization

The Complete Guide to Italicization

Some time ago, we published a post on italicization in album and song titles. And then Joe sent me a screengrab of a Google search with general italicization questions, so we’re going whole-hog and attempting to write an all-inclusive complete guide to italicization: when you do and when you don’t. We’ve covered italicization in song titles and album titles already, so we’re moving on from there.

Is It Okay To End A Sentence With A Preposition?

Is It Okay To End A Sentence With A Preposition?

Occasionally, we grammar enthusiasts need to take a step back and lighten up a little bit. While there are some grammar rules that are hard and fast (I’m looking at you, comma splice), sometimes there is wiggle room (like the controversial claim that you can split infinitives). Today, we’re tackling another wiggly rule: is ending a sentence with a preposition okay?

Well, guess what? I’m here to liberate your pens and tell you that it’s okay for your protagonist to ask her cheating boyfriend who he was just with.

What Is an Epigraph?

What Is an Epigraph?

At this point, everyone’s seen the Buzzfeed list of books that are going to come out as movies this year, right? Because if you haven’t, you probably should. I went through the list and added anything that sounded interesting to my ever-growing library waitlist, and as luck would have it, I got four of them this week. One of them was Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, and oh my gosh, it is amazing. I devoured it in about three days.

Before Flynn takes you to the actual text of the novel, however, you’re greeted by a quote from Tony Kushner’s The Illusion, which references love and murder and how the two intertwine. That’s not exactly it, but from reading that one sentence, you instantly have an idea of what you’re getting yourself into. This technique of using a quote from another author to introduce a novel’s tone, content, or summary is called an epigraph.

Revolutionize Your Story’s Point of View With Free Indirect Style

Revolutionize Your Story’s Point of View With Free Indirect Style

Point of view is the vehicle that drives a story. Get it right, and your novel hums along smoothly and your reader never notices.

Get it wrong, however, and your book becomes an unbearable clunker rife with confusion.

Shawn Coyne, author of The Story Grid, has read a lot of critically acclaimed and successful books, and noticed something about their point of view. All of these books used a specific style of narration, and you can use it too.

This Writing Technique Will Make Your Readers Fall in Love With Your Sentences

This Writing Technique Will Make Your Readers Fall in Love With Your Sentences

Two of the most vital skills you should focus on as a writer are how to tell a story that works and how to develop compelling characters. But once you’ve got that figured out, aren’t there other writing techniques, more subtle perhaps, that draw readers in and make stories shine?

There are. And one of those writing techniques is called euphonics. Rayne Hall, author of the Writer’s Craft series, defines euphonics as “the use of sound devices for prose writing.”

Is it Toward or Towards? Upwards or Upward?

Is it Toward or Towards? Upwards or Upward?

English is full of words that seem the same, but have subtle differences in their spelling and usage. These tricky words seem designed specifically to trip you up. Recently, we tackled ensure vs. insure. Today, let’s take on another vocabulary conundrum: upwards or upward? Toward or towards?

Or does it even matter?

The Editor: The Invisible Hero You Need in the Publishing World

The Editor: The Invisible Hero You Need in the Publishing World

A few months ago, I posted an article about avoiding clichés here on The Write Practice. The (bland) title I proposed was “How to Avoid Clichés.” The published title read: “How to Avoid Clichés (Like the Plague).” I grinned when I read it and said another thank you to a quiet hero of the publishing world: our editor.

She amped up the title with a clever twist that sounded just like me with my penchant for parentheses. Editors are invisible heroes in the publishing world, and knowing what they do can help you through every stage of your journey.

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