Although I/we’ve covered semicolons before once or twice, I don’t think there’s any harm having a little refresh of the much misused and confused semicolon and colon. Having just read a number of books in which the authors (and/or editors…and…guess what…in a trad-pubbed book, too!) have got the two confused, I thought it could do no harm to have another look. Continue reading “Semicolons and Colons…time for a recap…”
QUESTION from the e-mail: I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Recently I finished my first book and got it published. Like most, I tried to promote it by getting book reviews. I got several three and four-star reviews, but many of the reviewers had a lot of negative things to say, too. Sure, they praise my story. They all like the action and suspense. But then they complain about my commas, and my “point of view,” and my characters all talking alike. I went to college. I got good grades on all my term papers, so I ought to know a little about how to write. This negative stuff is hard to hear. Half the time, I don’t even know what they’re talking about. How can there be “too many semi-colons?” You use them when they’re needed, right? Maybe I should just forget about this whole thing.
ANSWER: Good reviewers almost always talk about both the positive and negative aspects of a book. If they don’t, they are usually friends of the author who go and place a glorious, 5-star review just for friendship’s sake. So first thing I know from what you said is that these are “good, honest, unbiased” reviews, not the kind you pay for. They looked for things to pick on as well as nice things to say. That’s “fair and balanced” and tells folks right away that your reviewers are being honest with their praise. Every first novel gets hit hard by reviewers. Continue reading “Reviews Are Mixed. How To Deal by Arline Chase”
Yes, he’s very annoying. You don’t want to use him, you try to ignore him, but darn him, he’ll muscle in at every opportunity. So much so that he confuses you and drives you absolutely bonkers. And he has the absolute gall to wink at you…
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Yes, I’m talking about the semicolon – a period and a comma, stacked up nice and neatly but seem to confuse and perplex so many people.
In fact, the instances in which the semicolon is used are comparatively few. Just remember two basic rules and you can’t go wrong. Continue reading “A Helping Hand…that annoying little…semicolon”