And, a special thank you to the newly subscribed. ...
Zombies, a Novel is making progress, 6597 words. ...
I am still behind on reading my author newsletters. Not a reason to unsubscribe from any of them. ... I will get to them.
"A. "B. "And C."
For various reasons, I was not a good student when I was younger. I loved to read, but English class was just annoying. Grammar, spelling, punctuation. ... boring.
I didn't want to read The Grapes of Wrath; I wanted to read four other books.
As I got older, I had to address these issues.
It soon became clear to me that for all the bluster of grammarians, English grammar and punctuation is a matter of opinion. A matter of education, and even more importantly, the timing of that education.
I started writing in August 2019. In September of that year I worked at improving my English skill set. After all, I could hardly bother my wife every time I wrote something.
No, I had to get my writing closer to being "right" if only for the sake of my future beta readers and editors. At the very least, it had to be consistent.
Along with YouTube videos and reading many varied and historical grammar and punctuation texts, I noticed two older style choices that make so much sense to me that I have adopted them. Yes, I'm as guilty as anyone else for picking the English grammar and punctuation rules to follow.
You have no choice; you have to at least be consistent.
The first is. ... don't ask me why, maybe it's because I'm an Oxford comma kind of guy.
The second is how you use quotes in dialog when the same person speaks about more than one subject.
"I am speaking about 'A'.
"I am speaking about 'B'.
"Now, I am wrapping things up, concluding with 'C'."
This makes so much sense to me. It follows the rules, emphasis on multiple rules, instead of partly following or ignoring other rules.
In the book "The best punctuation book, period. by June Casagrande" it defines this as the proper way to do it.
At least one author on YouTube, Jenna Moreci, insists that this is the only proper way to do it.
I was re-reading The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (1974), in an attempt to pick up military lingo when I came across examples of both.
I have since found other (older) books that use them as well.
FYI: The norm now is to include all of the dialog in one pair of double quotes.
Don't agree? Different perspective? Well, that's how English grammar and punctuation works.
Of course, a literary agent or a publisher could easily persuade me to change. ...
DAMN FINE STORY, by Chuck Wendig
Everyone tries to help, and that is no truer than with writing and writers. ...
Still, most of the recommended books as being appropriate to a newb author, I have not liked, not agreed with.
"On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft" by Stephen King.
"Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott.
'Starship Trooper' by Robert A. Heinlein.
All suck hard for differing reasons.
The first book I read about the craft of writing that I liked, and found helpful, was 'DAMN FINE STORY' by Chuck Wendig. Found on, and purchased from Amazon.ca.
I don't want to spoil it for you, but this book covers EVERYTHING related to writing stories with the emphasis on STORIES.
He doesn't insist there is only one way to do anything, and wants YOU to choose what works.
I found this book very useful, you may as well.
Monthly Newb Moment
Looks like I didn't have a newb moment this month. Maybe I'm growing, learning, gaining experience. ... well, we'll see what next month brings. ...
OK, one thing. I am still realizing that writing a one sentence, or even a one paragraph synopsis, does not mean that the chapter is easy to write.
Future newsletters may have Frequently Asked Questions. Send your question(s) to: Eric.
That's all for this month!
Eric C Bailey, June 14, 2021
The Newb Files, Science Fiction and Fantasy
I will never send you spam. You may unsubscribe anytime.