Tag Archives: Plural

Rule #6 of 32 Simple Rules to the Writing the Best Novel Ever

Writing_A_Great_Novel

I’m dissecting the article Hunting Down the Pleonasm, by Allen Guthrie, using it as a cattle prod to search for little nasties in my manuscript.  Yep, you can join in the fun, too.  Let’s take a looksee at topic #6

6: Keep speeches short. Any speech of more than three sentences should be broken up. Force your character to do something. Make him take note of his surroundings. Ground the reader. Create a sense of place.

Ha! This made me think of the Total Transformation program.  I like the “no speeches at all” rule better, but there are times when one of our characters tends to get chatty, right?

Always always always break up a long amount of dialog with action, setting, or emotion.  Think of it.  If you are listening to someone for a long time, you shift your weight, right?  The speaker paces the floor, uses hand gestures.  The curtains blow around a window. Tons of things are happening all around your speaker.

Don’t count on your reader to make these things up themselves.  Show them. It will make your scene more real, and you won’t lose your reader and have them miss something important.

Oh, and while you’re at it… try to curb that speech down a little.  Less is more, I always say!

Try it!  Can you feel how much cleaner your speech reads just by adding a little action?

JenniFer_EatonF

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By request: Who’s verses Whose

It never occurred to me to do an article on Who’s verses whose, because I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem with it.  I can see how this could be confusing, however.

I will try to make this as simple as possible.

Who’s” is kind of like “it’s”.   It is a contraction of two words.

Who is going to the store?

Who’s going to the store?

Whose is the possessive form of “Who”.

Who does this book belong to?

Whose book is this?

I believe the problem that may cause confusion is that sneaky little apostrophe.  In most cases apostrophe with an “S” denotes a possessive.  That is not true for “who”, or for “it”.

It’s just another one of those wonderful little rules that make the English language so much fun!

Hope this helps!