A SPECIAL TREAT FOR THANKSGIVING FROM CATHY.
• An Oxford comma walks into a bar where it spends the evening watching the television, getting drunk, and smoking cigars.
• A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly.
• A bar was walked into by the passive voice.
• An oxymoron walked into a bar, and the silence was deafening.
• Two quotation marks walk into a “bar.”
• A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his magnificent other, who takes him for granite.
• Hyperbole totally rips into this insane bar and absolutely destroys everything.
• A question mark walks into a bar?
• A non sequitur walks into a bar. In a strong wind, even turkeys can fly.
• Papyrus and Comic Sans walk into a bar. The bartender says, “Get out — we don’t serve your type.”
• A mixed metaphor walks into a bar, seeing the handwriting on the wall but hoping to nip it in the bud.
• A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then leaves.
• Three intransitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They converse. They depart.
• A synonym strolls into a tavern.
• At the end of the day, a cliché walks into a bar — fresh as a daisy, cute as a button, and sharp as a tack.
• A run-on sentence walks into a bar it starts flirting. With a cute little sentence fragment.
• Falling slowly, softly falling, the chiasmus collapses to the bar floor.
• A figure of speech literally walks into a bar and ends up getting figuratively hammered.
• An allusion walks into a bar, despite the fact that alcohol is its Achilles heel.
• The subjunctive would have walked into a bar, had it only known.
• A misplaced modifier walks into a bar owned a man with a glass eye named Ralph.
• The past, present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense.
• A dyslexic walks into a bra.
• A verb walks into a bar, sees a beautiful noun, and suggests they conjugate. The noun declines.
• A simile walks into a bar, as parched as a desert.
• A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to forget.
• A hyphenated word and a non-hyphenated word walk into a bar and the bartender nearly chokes on the irony.
the pen is mightier than the sword!
Cac The Proofreader
Committed. Accurate. Consistent.
There was a bit of confusion on my first post. I’d like to say, this series of posts is aimed at writers who wish to be Authors and make an income of some kind or another. As an Author, you run a business. In business, NOTHING is FREE, most certainly not your TIME.
You’ve made your choice. You’ve written a few short stories and sent it out to friends and maybe family. The replies you get back are positive. ‘We Want More’ (Yes I know this doesn’t happen to all of us). Strangely enough, this is what happened to me, however, I also had a lot to learn about writing in the English of today. There are many changes since I was at school. A lot of stuff I didn’t understand, though with examples (like Cathy who write Word Wars) a lot was instantly understandable.
“You should write a book.” and this is when you start your research. Most writers don’t have a clue where to look, how to research, who to trust. However, it had improved in recent year with Facebook Groups, with saying this, there are still plenty of Scammers and Spammers in those groups. Many get removed and blocked when they are found. The first question I asked myself was “how do I connect to agents and publishers?’ I had no clue and I’d never heard of Independent Publishing back in 2012. It was a bit of a nightmare. Once I found an Agent, I found out they didn’t understand my genre. I still laugh about it. As for publishers…or editors, well they wanted things set out in a certain way or your email would go straight into a bin never to be seen by anyone.
What’s this got to do with Websites and Social Media you ask. Well as you learn how technology works, your start to realise there is more to writing a book than you thought. I’d never heard of AUTHOR BRAND back then, it wasn’t something I was even aware of. SALES and MARKETING can be done via your WEBSITE and SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS, though you need to have the knowledge to do this. You need to learn or find a tutor. A traditional publisher won’t touch you if you can’t format a document how they wish you to. They also prefer you .to have a following which helps to add up to SALES.
Where and how do I find or make a website?
A great question. We started our first one way back in about 2012/13 and it was a complete disaster. We didn’t have a clue what we were doing, though we were pretty good with technology, even with continual frustration. Where was our first website? WORDPRESS.
In 2014, we tried WIX, it was easier to use with a few learning curves to find out how to design and use templates. It was enjoyable to use. In fact, we still have an Author Website there, which needs updating. The thing with WIX we didn’t like was not been able to download our website content to take elsewhere if we found a better deal. By this stage we had a few author friends on Facebook and they suggested trying WORDPRESS again. One friend, Markie, helped us through the process until we knew what we was doing. It was great. WORDPRESS had lots of tutorial if you needed them. These days we’re happy helping others with WORDPRESS, however this year they’ve updated and though the basics are the same, the editing isn’t. It’s still annoying and post take a lot longer to produce.
Your Website on WORDPRESS
Below is a view of the page which opens up to create the first step of your website.
Now it’s time to build your website. You have a name and if you look at the image below…
Also note you can go back and change your website at any stage if you find you don’t like something. It’s a good learning curve to be able to do this because you get to find your way around.
You’ve hit the GET STARTED tab and it takes you to a page to NAME YOUR SITE! Something you seriously need to think about. Remember this is part of your marketing and AUTHOR BRAND.
Is this site for a BOOK SERIES or for you as a writer? Is it for an anthology of multi-authors? The ideas for your website are endless though it is worth playing with different names until you find what is right for you, be it your actual name, pen name or book series name. Remember once you know what you’re doing you don’t have to stop at one website, however you do need to publish posts to each one at least once a week.
You have your website name and tagline, so what’s next? Continue to follow the list until you are ready to launch your website to the world. Play around and learn how it works. There is still plenty of work to do. MENUS, CUSTOMIZING, WEBSITE TEMPLATES…
The list includes, Updating your HOME PAGE, CONFIRM YOUR EMAIL FOR THE SITE AND CREATING A MENU (this is where your pages show and in what order). After you are happy with your website set up you can LAUNCH your website. This is great, you’ve done it. One last thing to remember BEFORE SHARING YOUR LINK…ASK A FEW TRUSTED FRIENDS TO HELP YOU PROOFREAD THE CONTENTS AND MAKE SURE ALL THE PAGES WORK.
First you need to look for APPEARANCE, which opens a new list and you then click on CUSTOMIZE. The best way to learn is through PLAY, just don’t play for to long or you’ll get totally frustrated and none of us want that. If you still need ASSISTANCE, then ASK!!!
This image shows you how to find THEMES. It will take you to a page of TEMPLATES you can use for your website. There are a lot to try out. You can choose to PREVIEW them before you pick the one you wish to use. Take your time and find something that suits you, your genre and or book series.
Below is a screen shot of the TEMPLATES. You can do a SEARCH for what you want. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT NOT ALL THE TEMPLATES ARE FREE. MAKE SURE TO CLICK ON THE FREE TAB ON THE TOP RIGHT SIDE OF THE IMAGE.
Once again, choose wisely. We have updated my websites a few times of the years and we always use a template which shows WIDGETS down the right hand side of the screen. We also prefer the smaller Header Photos. This is of course a preference for YOU TO THINK ABOUT.
HOPING THIS HELPS YOU WITH YOUR WEBSITE AND BUILDING YOUR AUTHOR BRAND. PLEASE SHARE WITH THOSE WHO NEED A HAND WITH RESEARCH. THERE IS SO MUCH MIS-INFORMATION OUT THERE ALONG WITH SCAMMERS AND SO MANY STILL GET CAUGHT OUT.
PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH IF YOU WISH TO BE AN AUTHOR, AFTER ALL YOU CAN’T BE A CERTIFIED PLUMBER WITHOUT THE CORRECT TRAINING!!
Our next post will be about SOCIAL MEDIA SITES and how they work
YOUR TIME ISN’T FREE – EVERY MINUTE IS WORTH…?
There are lots of new writers out there each and every day. There is also a heck of a lot of confusion in writing groups. The same questions get asked constantly, people give inaccurate information to each other, few do their own research to find the information they need to publish a book. The main issue is paying for publishing.
Paying for Publishing – Confusion
What is the new writer really asking? What should your reply be if you’re trying to help them. We really need to look deeper than saying things like ‘don’t pay for publishing it’s Vanity Publishing and Publishing is FREE’ If you say publishing is FREE then you obviously don’t value the time it took you to write, to learn the processes of how to publish. Not everyone is good with computers, websites, marketing, graphic design, etc. And these aren’t even the start to building your Author Brand
There are steps to publishing a book and getting it accepted by a distribution website, the same as there is a process if you wish to try traditional publishing. It doesn’t matter which way you go, you will PAY for various things along the way. Now you want to know HOW or WHY, or WHAT THE HELL…
With Traditional Publishing you will pay for the work they do via royalty share for the life of the book. This is how they make their profit. If they don’t see a profit in your book, you won’t get a contract. Of course prior to that is the time it takes to find an Agent, write proposals, etc. It is all time consuming and your time shouldn’t be FREE.
With Independent Publishing you will pay one off FEES for various areas you don’t have the skill set to do yourself. If you are willing to lean, it makes it cheaper, though please remember your TIME is not FREE. Everyone should have an Editor even if it is your job in life. We all miss things in our manuscripts. The best part of Independent Publishing is you get to keep all your royalties and copyright. If you’re good at Marketing, you may earn a decent income.
AUTHOR BRAND – AND WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
Step One: Writing a first draft of your manuscript. WRONG. The first thing you need to do if you wish to earn a decent income as a writer is research your Author Brand. What is this? you ask. Well it’s developing you and showing everyone who you are and what you can do. A bit like a Resume. Once you’ve listed what you know about yourself you can REASERCH what you need to do to get there. What do you need to learn? What way do you wish to publish? How does Publishing work. Do you want to try Independent Publishing or Traditional Publishing. Both have different processes you will need to learn.
At this stage I’m looking into Independent Publishing. You’ll need to research the genre you write. Who’s in the top 100 on Amazon? What are their book covers like? Why are they a best seller? What is their book blurb like? How many novels have they written. How did they find their fans? What are their websites and social media sites like?
There’s so much to research before you even start to write and though you can learn from other writers and authors, you will find some things don’t work for you or are incorrect. RESEARCH is still the key to develop your Author Brand and any learning curve processes you will need.
Step Two: Social media and websites. To build your fan base you need to start chatting, sharing teasers, photos, information about you, your stories. It depends on which social media sites you use. This is where your learning curve begins. Guess what you need to do…Yep RESEARCH… This time you need to learn how to build a website and how to use social media to your advantage and which ones are best for you! How to make a newsletter and get readers to sign up. Once you decide what you need to learn and how to use them, the real work begins. For many, it’s not as easy as it seems, especially when social media keeps updating their technology, causing frustration due to having to learn something new…AGAIN.
Also remember you’re supporting yourself at this time. (unless you have another job). Think about how much you’d expect to earn each hour you research, each time you do something to move forward. How much an hour are you worth? This is the FREE part of publishing, though only if you consider your time is worthless
Who is your Audience? Do you know? Do you care?
Remember choosing your Audience also affects the marketing
you will need to do.
Editing is not my thing. I do my best work helping with the flow and structure of a manuscript. I’ll call it proofreading for now.
Some things are easy to see and catch, others not so much. If you can get your manuscript flowing nicely it will be easier to edit. Then you have to find an editor who fits and this can take some work and lots of research. I’m not going to get into the research. This time it’s about the English Language you use and who you want as your audience/readers.
Most people write in the English Language where they grew up and were educated. It can, for some also be a second language. However, this doesn’t mean it’s the right English for your readers. If you’re aiming at an American Audience, then most writers would use American English, including grammar, spelling and punctuation.
What if the book is set in another country?
If you go traditional publishing they will generally set books in American English with dialogue in the English of the setting (Australian, British, etc). However, I think this is wrong. My thoughts are on genre as well as where the story takes place.
I’ll tell you why I don’t like the above idea. This is from way back when most books were traditionally published. I loved to read Regency Historical Romance, though many were a bit long winded. What a didn’t like was the fact they were written with American spelling with Regency words in place. Now…yes, I am fussy. In no shape or form were Londoners in Regency England speaking or reading American English in the early 1800’s. So why were they published like this? Simple, their audience/readers were American. It’s a pity they didn’t do a British version, mind that may have cost them to much and Traditional Publishers are all about profit.
With saying this, British authors or other authors who use British English due to setting do get the odd review from readers about how their books are full of errors. Those are the readers who don’t realise British and American English are different in spelling, grammar and punctuation. This is also why I recommend you learn what English you should use and also add what English you are using on the copyright page and even as part of the description if you’re self-publishing online. The difference is a bit of an eye opener.
English Spelling and Different Words.
What do you know of the different spelling and words used for the same item. Do you research what you need? Does your editor understand the spelling you use. There is quite a variety out there, however I will stick with UK, USA & NZ, mainly because these are the ones I use most.
Most New Zealand spelling is the same as British until you hit Te Reo Maori, which is an amazing language to use and write. What is different are the words we use. I can tell you now, going back thirty years and not only was it the words used it was the accents as well. Hilariously funny at times and embarrassing at others. I don’t think I’d ever rolled my eyes so much as I did back then when I was new to New Zealand. I remember once asking where the nearest ‘Chippie’ was. “Oh you can get them here,” and the young lad at the pub/bar held up a packet of—what Brits call Crisps, in the UK. I rolled my eyes, still not realising how different the language was. “I mean the Fish and Chip Shop.” Of course my future husband—a Kiwi, laughed his socks off (not literally). In fact, we didn’t even understand each other much of the time. I eventually became a Kiwi speaker, so much so, that when I visited family in the UK eighteen years later, my siblings kept correcting me. Annoying as hell, especially since they knew what I was on about.
Anyway, slightly off tangent there. In US English you’ll find the difference in spelling. I’ve always wondered why the spelling changed since a majority of colonists were English. If anyone can tell me, I’d be interested to learn. There are hundreds of words you’ll notice with different spellings. Things like COLOUR/COLOR, REALISE/REALIZE. Then you have the words. CANDY/SWEETIE/LOLLY…US, UK & NZ, and there are plenty more which I will list at the end.
First I’d like to get this … out there. PUNCTUATION IS DIFFERENT IN EACH ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRY!
Yes it is true, though some will slice and dice and disagree. It depends who taught you, where you were taught and in what generation you’re from. Then you have the accents used and how you speak or how your characters speak to each other. This is one of the many things you need to discuss with your editor. You can give them a generic manuscript which has no country setting as such which is when you can discuss which English you wish to use, remembering you also need to use the correct words. Many people know that US English uses more commas than British English. I have seen the different with Editing apps I use to help me tidy a draft novel.
I use Grammarly Pro. It can give you questionable suggestions and sometimes make you laugh because it’s off base with changes. So, if you’re using an Editing App, make sure your English is proficient.
Grammarly is set up for four different types of English Grammar. Uk, US, Canadian and Australian. Unless I’m helping a client, then I have it set on Uk English.
During the last week I’ve been going back and forth with UK and US English do to proofreading. You can see the difference straight away. One of my own books I’d used UK Grammarly on, was clear of errors, though I still had several steps of editing to do. I accidently clicked on my manuscript when working through an American Clients work and it picked up…over a thousand errors. I nearly panicked until I realised what I’d done, after which I laughed. Yep. It caught the spelling, grammar and punctuation but in American English. It just shows how different it can be. I was pleased I didn’t have to start over.
Different Words, same Item
|Chips||Home Fries||Chips or Fries|
|Off Licence||Bottle Store||Liquor Store|
As you can see New Zealand is a mixture of two English Languages, similar to Canada and probably Australia, though they both have their own Idioms There are so many which will confuse a person with the words used and their actual meaning being totally different. Many of these Idioms I had to learn not to use thirty years ago because they were just not understood by the local KIWI population. Then of course you have KIWI Idioms to confound visitors along with place names, many of which are pronounced in totally different way from what they are written.
Te Puke — Tea Pu Key
Petone — Pea Toe knee (Not Pet One as I’ve heard some Americans call it)
Bring a Plate — It means take a plate of food to share at a party, not take an empty plate.
See ya laters — They are not literally going to see you later the same day. It could be tomorrow, the following week. So don’t wait around and yes, people used to do this too.
You can find more
Kiwi Idioms HERE
American Idioms HERE
British Idioms HERE
“Cac The Proofreader back with another WORD WAR! This is a word that is SO commonly misused/misspelled, and it is something I see pretty much daily: The word “it.”
ITS versus IT’S.
IT’S actually quite simple–pun intended! One shows possession; one is a contraction/combination of two words. If you want to show possession, omit the apostrophe.
Example: “I wonder where its owner is.” If you want to say “it is,” just combine those two words and simply use “it’s,” as in “It’s over there.” Short, sweet, and simple, right?
Let me know if YOU have a WORD WAR that stops your writing flow. My mission is to eliminate those “stops” so you can continue creating that wonderful content we all enjoy!”
Cac The Proofreader here, with Hawk Eyes Proofreading!
EXCEPT something is to exclude it or leave it out. Example: I like them all except that one.
There are many more WORD WARS contained there as well as a look-see as to who I am and what I’m all about.
I spend a lot of time editing other people’s writing and self-editing my own work. In fact, I spend more time revising and proofreading than I do writing. So I thought I’d share a few of my favorite editing tips:
1. Accept Favor Requests for Editing
When a friend, family member, or coworker asks you to look at a draft, do it. Even if you’re busy, even if you don’t feel like it or have your own projects to write and edit, take it on. The more editing you do, the better you get at it, and that means you become better at editing your own work, too. Never pass up an opportunity for practice!
2. Read it First
Before you uncap your red pen, give the piece a quick read. If you edit on the first pass, you might have to go back and undo some of your markups or revisions. This can happen because you haven’t picked up the style and flow yet, because you don’t know where the piece is headed with regard to context, or because you’re focused on finding mistakes instead of understanding the material. If at all possible, read it first, and then go back and start editing.
3. Are You Wearing Your Editing Hat or Proofreading Hat?
When you edit, make sure editing is really what you’re doing. In other words, be aware that editing is not scouring the text for typos and stray punctuation marks. Editing is when we strengthen the story, sentences, and paragraphs. Proofreading comes later. That’s not to say we don’t do a little proofing while editing or that we don’t do a little editing while proofing. I know I do. However, I always do a full revision focused on editing and another on proofreading. For more complex pieces, I do multiple edits and proofs.
4. Edit On-Screen and Track Changes
Many writers and editors swear by the printed page. But that’s a messy and inefficient way to edit. If you start editing on-screen, you’ll adjust to the new format and soon find it’s much easier than marking up print. If you’re making big revisions and you’re worried about losing the original text, use Microsoft Word’s feature, Track Changes, which does just what you’d expect — it tracks all the changes you make as you edit. Then you can go through and review every edit and accept or reject those changes individually or collectively. This is also a great way to edit twice — once to make the changes and again to approve them.