Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Guides to Writing and Editing

In my pursuit of better writing, I have found a few more guides to share. First, there is Dr. Grammar, who has this lengthy list of FAQs. You can submit a question should you be unable to find the answer there. Then, there’s the ever-popular Grammar Girl. She does tend to be pedantic, but there her detailed explanations tend to clear up complicated questions about a rule, rather than merely giving a too-specific example.

If the writing well has run dry for a bit, look for some writing prompts to get that virtual ink flowing again. The Wisconsin Regional Writers’ Association has a nice list of 52 prompts - enough for a whole year at one a week. Karen Pruitt Fowler has an article at Suite 101 with 13 writing prompts.

Once you’ve written a piece, you can’t submit it for publishing until you proof-read it. Beyond looking for technical problems like grammar and spelling, you need to check for flow and logic. has some fantastic tips for doing this. They are geared toward students but are useful for anyone. The Sentence Opening Sheet and a seriously useful list of synonyms for the word said. For those of you who have difficulty with repetitive dialog (as I do) this may help or at least inspire you.