Tag Archives: punctuation

I’m so tired…

I’m not afraid of work, never have been. I’m trying to remind myself this author gig is what I do for relaxation. Somehow, I failed today.

I had to deal with dicey WiFi all morning and a couple of router reboots. Then AutoCrit refused to load, so I had to paste my MS in there multiple times before it decided to work. I still blame the weak-assed signal. Eventually, I caught a strong section of signal and everything loaded.

I spent about 12 hours correcting grammar and punctuation in my SF novel. It always amazes me how many words are one letter different, and I found and corrected several of those. There were a lot of doubled words that needed killing, along with all the commas and question marks I had to fix.

Spelling and grammar apps don’t particularly appreciate science fiction either. Place and character names kind of make it cry.

Where did my fun and relaxation go?

On the other hand, I am overjoyed at getting this leg finished. All three books have passed this waypoint. I still have some specific word searches I want to do next, but hope the technology might have eliminated that phase for me. I’ll still test it out.

The last lap will be to read them all to see if things make sense.

It looks like I won’t be drafting anything for another few weeks, but this part has to get done. Before I start back up, there are a few books I want to read, too. I decided to stay in this phase for a while longer. I’m not hurting for drafts and will dedicate as much time as I must here.


Filed under Writing

Ugh! Editing

I got to the writing cabin kind of late today. Old What’s Her Face and I usually have Sunday breakfast at home, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the week. Nothing too fancy, just really nice.

It’s also the day I call my Mother and I dedicated an hour to that.

Drafting new material is my favorite part of the job. I love the process of coming up with new characters and having them interact. Today, I had to grit my teeth and start editing.

I walked into the cabin’s living room which serves as the public-facing office.

A talking yak debated something with a talking hat. A retired leg-man was discussing the breakdown of modern society with a Chinese monk woman who carried a huge guandao.

Lisa Burton, the robot girl was in a dither trying to get root monsters down from the antler chandelier.

Percy, the Space Chimp pointed a hairy finger from across the room. “I got a bone to pick with you.”

I slammed the door, and returned to my vehicle. “Nope.”

I returned home and parked myself in a spare room we use for an office. The old Mac opened the AutoCrit website just fine, and I was able to upload my manuscript. However, it never highlighted a damned thing.

It feels great to produce a perfect draft, but I never have and something was wrong. I wanted to use my iPad to make the actual edits.

The site works perfectly on the iPad, and my dreams of a perfect MS were shot down.

I wound up using the split-screen feature and the iPad for everything. This isn’t particularly easy, because the text is so small in split screen. Clicking on AutoCrit’s suggestions is a little more touchy at this small size, too.

I admit to chickening out on the big stuff and worked on The Hat story because of its size. I managed to fix all of my typical mistakes. Mostly missing punctuation. I seem to miss a lot of question marks when I draft.

I have the free version of AutoCrit, so I don’t have all of its amazing features. Still helpful with spelling and punctuation. I had one word spelled wrong about five times. At least I was consistent.

That hat story moves into the TBR editing pile. I think I’ll take on the swamp story in the morning. I dread this stuff, but it must be done.

It’s been a while since I shared a Pinterest Board. This is a good one for all authors. Sometimes we all need location and setting. Check it out and let me know what you think https://pin.it/3ILyqyc

This one has markets, catacombs, a street of birdcages, public gardens and more.


Filed under Writing

Help me Writers

I’m working on my Arson manuscript. I’m running into a problem with punctuation. It isn’t a big one, and there are several suitable styles.

The issue is with internal dialog. I don’t like italics for this purpose. I prefer italics as news broadcasts, signs, letters, email; that kind of thing. I also use them with one word of spoken dialog on rare occasions. Like this: “It’s doctor Pennington, actually,” she said.

All my research says it’s appropriate to punctuate like any other dialog and use a tag of “he thought.” This has worked well, until internal and spoken dialog wind up in the same paragraph.

I like it when characters think one thing and say another. My main character, Perry does this on occasion. When using my preferred punctuation method, I don’t like the way it looks.

I’ll make something up as an example. “Well, you’re a 300 pound blimp with a receding hairline,” he thought. He said, “Yeah, I think you have a real shot with her.”

I don’t like it. It’s a bit better with some action in the middle to separate the two, but still not great. “Well, you’re a 300 pound blimp with a receding hairline,” he thought. He placed a hand on his friend’s shoulder and said, “Yeah, I think you have a real shot with her.”

I like internal dialog with no punctuation myself. I know this is wrong, so I’m avoiding it. It does stand out against the spoken dialog though.

I toyed with the idea of a single quote for internal dialog, but I don’t love it either. ‘Well, you’re a 300 pound blimp with a receding hairline,’ he thought. He said, “Yeah, I think you have a real shot with her.”

So what should I do? I want to be consistent, whatever I decide. I don’t like italics in his situation, but I’m not loving the other options either.

Help me out here you writers and readers. My goal is to whip Arson into shape within ten days or so.


Filed under Writing