Back in 2009, one of my critique group friends called with an urgent punctuation question. It was something pretty simple about quotes within quotes. This got me wondering if any of my blog followers have burning questions about some matter of grammar, usage, or style.
From there, I started a little series called Editor-on-call, in which I answer your burning questions. It has been a long time since I put out a call for more questions, so I thought I'd do so again. I want to keep this blog relevant and a helpful resource for you, dear readers.
Perhaps first you'd like to know what topics I've already covered. There are quite a few, as it happens, though this hardly exhausts all the concerns I hear come up at my critique group and in the author collaborative I belong to.
- Help! Critique partners bash my use of dialect
- Tips for using numbers in fiction.
- Mine! Help with possessives
- Why so tense? Tips for handling verb tenses
- Three bad babble habits and how to fix them: conquering run-ons
- Funky favorites and how to spell them: quick primer on whoa, voilá, psych, trawl, ado, copacetic
- No lie: why we misuse lay--getting a handle on lie vs. lay
- It's your day to master tricky possessives: tips on possessive pronouns
- Don a cap if you're proper: tips for when to capitalize nouns
- Bored with / by / of gaffes: correct idiomatic use of bored
- And then...derailment at conjunction junction: using then as a conjunction when it's really an adverb (and other grammar checker issues).
- Semi-serious punctuation help: using semicolons (and why I hate them)
- Tempting titles: tips on titling your fiction
- If I were you: using subjunctive mood to express wishes and hypotheticals
- Editor-on-call: misplaced modifiers--tips on improving clarity with word order.
- Editor-on-call: tips for critiquing an overwriter
- Overwrtiting (part 1): What is overwriting?
- Overwriting (part 2): Diction
- Overwriting (part 3): Babbling
- Overwriting (part 4): Tangents
Tell me, readers, what burning questions do you have about grammar, punctuation, or fiction writing problems you don't know how to fix?