“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Word of the Week: Hellkite. A hellkite is someone who is extremely cruel. Think Hitler and Stalin. This is one of those words, while rare, someone is likely to understand its meaning without having to search for a dictionary as long as it is used in the proper context.
Tip(s) of the Week: Homonyms. Just in case there is anyone out there who doesn’t know what homonyms are, they are words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings, and they can also be words that are spelled the same, sound the same, but still have different meanings. Nine times out of ten, it’s the first kind that trip us up.
Do you ever scroll through your Twitter or Facebook feeds and see sentences like: “I don’t know witch I hate worse…” or “It doesn’t matter weather you believe it…” If you don’t see these things, you’re in the minority. The problem is we rely so heavily on our gadgetry to find our mistakes, we often don’t pay it attention if we change one word out for the other. Most of the time our various word processors will find these and call them to our attention. But that isn’t always the case. Pay attention to these kinds of errors when you’re proofing your own work and if you’re beta reading for someone else and you notice them.
Hangups. I felt compelled to write a little something about writing hangups. Specifically the lack of desire to finish a project. It is super easy to get distracted by the myriad of things life constantly throws at us. Unless you have an agent or publisher beating down your door and pressing you to meet deadlines, it is more likely that your writing takes place between meal times with your family, grocery shopping, doctor appointments and getting your tires rotated. It is easy to push back what isn’t a necessity–and I am not suggesting you let your kids starve in order to finish that chapter you’ve been hung up on. But, I just want to encourage you to find the time. Write on your phone while you’re waiting on the doctor or for your mechanic. Ask your spouse or your teenage kid (trust me, this is a skill too few know and they really should learn!) to cook dinner once or twice a week just to give you a little extra time to polish up your prose. You have a story to tell, and quite frankly, I want to read it.
Resource of the Week: HyperGrammar. Are you ready for this? The University of Ottawa offers this free [non-credit] grammar course online! Perhaps it has been a while since you were in school and really had to know this stuff, but now that you want to be a professional writer, you want to brush up… but scrounging up the time to write is hard enough on its own, and there is no way you can make it down to your local college for continuing education classes. Fear not! U of Ottawa has you covered. The page currently says it is under construction and advises that some elements may be missing, but I’ve clicked through it and I believe if this is something you’d like to pursue to better your writing, it is well worth checking out!
Now, HyperGrammar doesn’t have a video on YouTube, so instead I am sharing another grammar video that I find pretty stinking hilarious and educational. You’ll probably laugh but you most definitely will not literally explode from laughing. Watch it, you’ll get it.
Spotlight of the Week: I did ask someone to participate as this week’s spotlight, but once they declined I didn’t have the opportunity to seek out a replacement. Which sucks. So I’m going to just put out an open invitation to anyone who is reading this, if you’re interested in being interviewed for this section of my weekly posts, please feel free to send me a message on Twitter. There are some weeks that are already filled up, but if you’re interested, I will keep a running list and will happily interview you at a later time.
Thanks for stopping in! I hope you all have a fantastic week and, as always, happy writing!