|LETS GET IT ON!|
|LETS GET IT ON!|
The Grammar GangstersBeware the grammar gangsters!The Grammar Gangsters by CyberPhantom
The mafia of the literary underworld.
They saunter into stanzas,
Under their trench coats
Or in violin cases.
They can make you talk,
"With just a few well-placed speech marks,"
Leave you shouting! Where you should have whispered!
And pulp your bold statements into quavering questions?
They can, pepper, your, phrases with, commas,
Or bring your piece to a dead.
They'll trap you (between brackets)
As you - dash - to the exit.
Then: punch a blunted colon
Into the gut of your text
Force-feed you a poisonous semicolon,
Then hack/slash your work to shreds.
The grammar gangsters
Never leave survivors.
Readers discover the victims
In the back alleys of the library,
In a tommy-gun ellipsis...
Punctuating Poetry Part TwoShifting GearsPunctuating Poetry Part Two by LaMonaca
The great thing about punctuation is that there is rarely one single, correct, perfect way to punctuate a poem. Given to a number of different poets, a poem could be punctuated and re-punctuated in as many different ways.
So let's take a breather from so many rules and look at Leave the Door Open, by KrystalIce:
Damn; I should've left the door open.
At first glance, this could make a grammarian twitch! It's just a jumble of symbols and shapes and - hey, take a deep breath. Come back down from Oxford and pay attention.
This poem is an example of using punctuation, not just to punctuate ideas but to illustrate
Punctuating Poetry Part OneSome people believe poetry shouldn't be punctuated and others are still taught to put a comma after every new line. So where is the balance? What does one - especially one new or growing in poetry - do? Well, that's simple: a poet must punctuate with purpose!Punctuating Poetry Part One by LaMonaca
In order to punctuate with purpose, however, a poet must understand two things: what she wants to achieve with the poem and what a piece of punctuation can achieve in a poem. This means a poet must understand more than the common rules of punctuation; she must know the effect that certain punctuation points can have on a reader or in a text.
This overview tackles punctuation in poetry from a practical standpoint, but it's important to note that while there are "rules" for punctuation, and while there are even some "rules" for poetry, there are no set-in-stone conventional rules for punctuation in poetry. There are schools of thought, and linguistic philosophy runs amuck, but there is nothing definit
Punctuating Dialogue: A GuideStandard Punctuation: DialoguePunctuating Dialogue: A Guide by WordCount
Sometimes we read dialogue so often, punctuated in so many different ways, that we either forget what we've learned (if that was anything memorable to begin with) or we rely on instinct to guide us. A common example of this can be seen in the opening dialogue of darksouldream's piece, Bobby:
No, replied Cindy `I think his sister Becky is staying with her, but she keeps muttering about parents out living children. The doctors been keeping her pretty sedated.
Most Americans will cringe at this. Why? Well, double quotation marks are the more acceptable usage (the "traditional convention") in American Standard English. However, in British Standard English, both the double quotation mark and single quotation mark are used. What's the rule? Stylis
Showing, Part OneShowing, Part One by onewordatatime
If you've ever taken a class in creative writing, you've no doubt heard the teacher repeat the phrase, "Show, don't tell" over and over again. While there are few hardest rules in creative writing, this persistent little mantra might be the ultimate. Teachers and writers who write about writing spout it out all the time, but what does it mean anyway? After, isn't all writing really "telling" on some level?
It's best to view "showing" not as a single technique, but a summation of the most effective writing techniques. If we know anything about poetry, it's that the best poetry usually conjures specific and concrete images. Beyond language itself, images are the meat and bones of poetry. So goes most of prose as well. The prose writer has the added duty of creating situations and characters that seem real and believable.
Showing invites the reader into the world of out poem and story. If the reader can see, smell, taste, and feel the world through our writing, the reader is more
Active and Passive VoiceActive and Passive Voice by onewordatatime
Active voice occurs when the subject or agent in the sentence performs the action, often towards an object. For example, let's look at the following sentence written in active voice:
Katie spilled the milk.
In this sentence, Katie is the subject, and she performs the action (spilling) on the direct object (the milk.) The most obvious way to spot active voice is through the use of active verbs, which are simply verbs that express actions. In most cases, the sentence will take on the simple form of the tense it's in, whether past, present, or future.
In passive voice, the object being acted upon is emphasized over the agent. A passive version of the previous sentence would look like this:
The milk was spilled by Katie.
In this sentence, our object (the milk) appears before the action (was spilled) and the agent (Katie.) You will also notice that this sentence is in the progressive fo
Write Better: Read MoreWe didn't believe it, either, but you really can learn a lot from reading a book! If you've ever wanted some worthwhile advice from someone other than your high school English teacher, this is the place to look. The authors below are experts in their fields, well-respected and admired by accomplished writers from all over the world, and we're bringing you a list of their most prized and collectively-effective books. (Tried-and-tested by our worthy administrators, no less!)Write Better: Read More by WordCount
So what're you waiting for? Learn how to make every word count!
Reading Resource List for the Aspiring Writer
Writing Reminders: Tools, Tips, and Techniques (Jim Burke)
Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer (Roy Peter Clark)
Writing without Teachers (Peter Elbow)
Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process (Peter Elbow)
The Writing ProcessWhat is the Writing Process?The Writing Process by LaMonaca
Many of us learned that the writing process is made up of five parts: Pre-writing, Writing, Revision, Editing, and Publishing. Indeed, this process has been so ingrained, and the vocabulary and terms have become such a part of our education, that some students (and adults) feel as if writing is a formulaic, rigid thingnot unlike learning mathematicsthat they simply never excelled in. Fortunately, this simply isn't true. While the five basic steps of the writing process are effective, they can only be effective if the people using the process understand the purpose of each step.
Experience has shown that many students do not know the purpose of drafting beyond a certain, vague understanding that you're supposed to "correct" or "fix" something for each new draft. Its unfortunate, but its also been shown that students who are forced to Pre-Write in certain ways, even when they have been
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