I wonder how many of us have ever asked our readers to believe in talking elephants: While talking with a friend, an elephant trumpeted. Or dancing coral reefs: Dancing on Friday, the coral reef sprung back into my memory. Or imagine fruit-eating lions: While eating fruit … [Read more...] about How to avoid talking elephants. Fixing faulty introductory phrases
In December 2012, a young Matthew took his seat in the cinema without a clue what he was getting himself into. The screen lit up as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey began. Bilbo Baggins’ welcoming voice uttered that glorious line: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” … [Read more...] about “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” teaches story structure
In the following sentence, a vital comma is missing. Where do you think it should go… and why? If you come over on Friday evening we’ll have a roast dinner. That sentence is composed of two elements that we need to be aware of. … [Read more...] about A tiny comma edit guaranteed to make a massive improvement
I’ve got a book on my shelf printed by the Oxford University Press and another printed by the Cambridge University Press. The Oxford University book uses the Oxford comma. Not surprising. However, in the Cambridge University book, I noticed something that made me chuckle. There … [Read more...] about What’s an Oxford comma? How do I use it correctly? And do I need one at all?
In late-19th-century Boston, one lonely figure strides past closed curtains and shuttered windows, hurrying to catch the earliest train to New York City. Hers is a life defined by death and hell-bent on revenge. Two years and eight drafts into writing his novel, a frustrated … [Read more...] about Could I entertain you? Glimpses—your free book of 8 short stories.