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Can't Punctuate Dialogue? Consider the Sentence

By G. Miki Hayden
Instructor at Writer's Digest University online and private writing coach

firstwriter.com – Monday September 4, 2017

Whereas everyone is welcome to write without a clue - you do have a computer, after all - unless you start with a strong foundation and build from there, your lack of understanding is going to cost you. 

Recently, a student of mine expressed strong irritation when I suggested she learn to punctuate. Yes, I really am that annoying person. Well, the next time I went through her writing, I restrained myself from spending the time and effort on such minor matters as how her sentences were put together. I should simply presume people will be happy to pay for an edit rather than learn some of the basics of writing.

I thought I might start here with the sentence, really for a reason that has to do with punctuating dialogue - the issue on my mind right now. Why? Because while line editing, I've found so many examples of a certain glitch that boils down to a mere misunderstanding of what a sentence is.

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London Startup Uses Technology To Open Up The World Of Book Publishing

forbes.com – Friday September 1, 2017

Emmanuel Nataf has a simple mission: “I want more people to share their ideas with the world.”

That’s why three years ago, the Frenchman moved to London and co-founded Reedsy, a curated marketplace for authors to find publishing professionals to help bring their book to life.  While Paris may have Station F now, Nataf saw opportunity in the British capital thanks to the concentration of publishers, writers, and investors.

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Sarah Mills, Writing Methodology, Tone and Pace, and Tips for Budding Writers

goodmenproject.com – Thursday August 31, 2017

Sarah Mills is a Writer and Editor at Conatus News, as well as a personal friend with whom I have written some articles. Here is a short interview with her.

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How to market and promote your books

By Jeffrey Sussman
President, Jeffrey Sussman, Inc.

firstwriter.com – Wednesday August 30, 2017

Every author and every publisher wants to sell as many books as possible. Each may try a variety of tactics as well as resort to conventional means of publicity, but results often fall short of expectations. It is one reason why publishers make significant profits from only a small fraction of the books they publish. And the vast numbers of authors cannot count on royalties to support themselves. What to do?

Here are several examples that have helped publishers increase the quantity of sales and have even helped self-published authors make money from their books.

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Bernard MacLaverty: ‘Just try to write. You can do it better tomorrow’

theguardian.com – Saturday August 26, 2017

The novelist on the privilege of working from home, the benefits of eavesdropping and why he and his grandson love to play ‘throwing writers at the radiator’.

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Ray Bradbury’s Practical and Inspiring Writing Advice

flavorwire.com – Tuesday August 22, 2017

The late, great Ray Bradbury, a master of modern science fiction, was born on this day in 1920. Bradbury was full of wit and wisdom when it came to dishing out practical writing advice. 

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Digital isn't dead for book publishers - we're just waking up from the first hangover

thebookseller.com – Monday August 21, 2017

In 2010 Steve Jobs announced another killer product that would propel tech companies, publishers and consumers into an exciting new era. The iPad launched tablet devices into the consumer consciousness in a way which few would have believed possible at the time. Now with over 40% of the worldwide population believed to own at least one tablet and 91% a smartphone, smart devices are here to stay.

So why did so many book apps fail to work?

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What it's like writing about sex for over 60s

stuff.co.nz – Monday August 21, 2017

I haven't lost my libido. Mislaid it at times, perhaps, but not completely lost it. Possession of a SuperGold Card doesn't swipe away the sensual senses and sensations of a good old burst of lust, or so they tell me.

But when you're a woman over 60, sex becomes a standing joke in stand-up comedy repertoire. It's OK for guys over 60 to talk about it, just not women. And especially not in front of the children, even though they've got their own offspring now and clearly know what it's all about.

Imagine the horror then, having a mother who writes about it.

Writing fiction takes quite a bit of courage – exposing aspects of yourself, your fantasies, your innermost thoughts. Writing sex scenes takes even more courage. And writing sex scenes for over 60s requires an extra layer of tact.

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Can you teach someone to write a bestseller? Judging by the Faber Academy’s record, the answer is yes

standard.co.uk – Thursday August 17, 2017

With 62 publishing deals and a glittering roll call of alumni, it’s rapidly earning a reputation as the book world’s fame school. Patricia Nicol finds out its secrets.

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My fellow authors are too busy chasing prizes to write about what matters

theguardian.com – Wednesday August 16, 2017

There are at least two reasons why almost every anglophone novelist feels compelled to get as near the Booker prize as they can. The first is because it looms over them and follows them around in the way Guy de Maupassant said the Eiffel Tower follows you everywhere when you’re in Paris. “To escape the Eiffel Tower,” Maupassant suggested, “you have to go inside it.” Similarly, the main reason for a novelist wanting to win the Booker prize is to no longer be under any obligation to win it, and to be able to get on with their job: writing, and thinking about writing.

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