Author Archive: StephenHunt2

I have been working as a full-time author publishing fantasy and science fiction novels for HarperCollins for the last seven years.

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Grammar Greatness: Tell me about Exclamation Marks, I SHOUTED!

October 14, 2019 | By | Reply More
Grammar Greatness: Tell me about Exclamation Marks, I SHOUTED!

The Exclamation Mark ! is added to the end of a sentence to add emphasis, a little like SHOUTING! In the USA this is also called an Exclamation Point! You can use the Exclamation Mark to give commands, issue exclamatory statements, or add extra emotional weight. Examples “Give me the money, now!” yelled the crook as she waved her pistol in the air. Sit down right this second! I didn’t have to think twice about obeying. “I can’t take it anymore!” I sobbed. A shiny new jeep sitting in my drive. Oh yes! Good morning! Problems You don’t need to add a full stop after an Exclamation Mark as ! […]

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Grammar Greatness: Hyphen versus Dash smackdown.

October 14, 2019 | By | Reply More
Grammar Greatness: Hyphen versus Dash smackdown.

The Hyphen – is a short horizontal line, and often confused with its longer cousin, the Dash. Hyphens have three main uses … The Hyphen can be used to join words that need to be glued together (called “compound words” by grammar pros). Examples Brazil is a Portuguese–speaking nation. The MiG–25 Foxbat is the world’s fastest–moving fighter jet. My father–in–law did not approve of me, at first. 2). The Hyphen can be used to stick a prefix to the start of a word. Examples It was a post–natal ward. Trump will be the ex–president one day. They created a new sub–category just for me. 3). The Hyphen can be used […]

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Grammar Greatness: do you have a question, Mark, about the Question Mark?

October 14, 2019 | By | Reply More
Grammar Greatness: do you have a question, Mark, about the Question Mark?

The Question Mark does what it says on the tin, and adds a hint of mystery to the end of a direct question in a sentence. It can be used to ask for confirmation and suggest uncertainty in a sentence. Examples. Why do you always choose chips and never a salad, Bob? I’m the most handsome man in this room, am I not? You didn’t have your homework eaten by your pet alligator, did you? How much does this new iPhone 33 model cost, please? Is it very expensive? Is it made of plastic? Exceptions to the rule. The Question Mark should not be used with indirect writing and reported […]

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Grammar Greatness: the Colon (no medical jokes, please).

October 14, 2019 | By | Reply More
Grammar Greatness: the Colon (no medical jokes, please).

Punctuation is simply how you make your writing read more like how you speak. You use a colon :  to pause before introducing related information (often introducing ideas, quotes, or lists), as well as introducing explanations and amplifying a point for emphasis. Examples Croydon University excels in four core subjects: electronics, art history, materials science, and music technology. There are three things you need to understand about Bob: he hates cats, loves dogs, but keeps a llama in his bathroom. I ate in my grandmother’s kitchen for five days, and my stomach came to one conclusion: yuck! Dickens had the right idea when he said: “No one is useless in […]

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Grammar Greatness: the Semi-colon (when Commas and Full Stops breed).

October 14, 2019 | By | Reply More
Grammar Greatness: the Semi-colon (when Commas and Full Stops breed).

Punctuation is simply how you make your writing read more like how you speak. So how does the Semi-colon work – this odd-looking ;  hybrid love-child of a Comma below, and a Full Stop above? Basically, the Semi-colon helps you glue together two closely connected ideas inside a sentence. The Semi-colon often works well if you can replace the Semi-colon (;) with an and (or other conjunctive word), instead, and your sentence still makes sense, Examples We can visit the burger restaurant this week; maybe Friday will work well for you? Some customer like hot dogs; others prefer to chew down on a juicy hamburger. Problems You don’t usually CAPITALISE […]

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Grammar Greatness: the Full Stop (hey, we call it a Period in the USA).

October 14, 2019 | By | Reply More
Grammar Greatness: the Full Stop (hey, we call it a Period in the USA).

Punctuation is simply how you make your writing read more like how you speak. If the Comma is a pause for breath, and the Semi-colon is a long pause for breath, then the Full Stop is a complete halt to your words. It’s the red light on a set of traffic lights. The Full Stop is also called the Period (the period is a rather old-fashioned term: it’s what William Shakespeare called the term in his plays – it’s also the term still used in the USA). You add a Full Stop to the end of a sentence like this: Examples. My first sentence. My first sentence. My second sentence. […]

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Grammar Greatness: Your one-minute Hangry History guide to Punctuation.

October 14, 2019 | By | Reply More
Grammar Greatness: Your one-minute Hangry History guide to Punctuation.

I would have called this primer ‘horrible’ rather than ‘hangry’, but didn’t want to get sued by my friend, author Terry Deary. Those funny little marks you see all over the page and screen, they’re called “punctuation”. They started off as a way of making your writing seem closer to how you speak out aloud. Punctuation was actually created, like so much else, by an ancient scholar in 3 BC. This fellow, called Aristophanes of Byzantium, needed a way to mark up texts so people reading them would know when to draw a breath, pause to let the audience digest the words, halt for dramatic effect and so forth. Only […]

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Grammar Greatness: Commas (killing it with commas).

October 14, 2019 | By | 1 Reply More
Grammar Greatness: Commas (killing it with commas).

Punctuation is simply how you make your writing read more like how you speak. So how’s the comma work? When you’re speaking out loud, a comma is a brief pause for breath (so you don’t run out of puff before you finish speaking). There are seven magnificently easy rules to follow where you really MUST use a comma. I’ll start with the easy ones first, number 6/7 are where the fun starts! (1) Addresses and dates. When writing an address or date down, you place a comma in between each piece of information (road, town, state, country – or day, month, year). Examples: Date. Friday, 13th February, 2019 or February […]

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Bug hunt.

March 20, 2018 | By | Reply More
Bug hunt.

Okay, Apprentices, the raw manuscript for the 2017 novel, Mission to Mightadore, is now ready for your reading pleasure. You chose not to use the more cartoon-ish cover design with Commodore Black waving a sword, but plumped for the airbrushed steampunk submarine exploring the moon’s oceans, so that’s the design we’re going with. All the typos and mistakes you’ve spotted and submitted to date should be incorporated in the latest edition of the book, but there are undoubtedly a few more errors and bugs to be flushed out and zapped. You can download the book from http://dl.bookfunnel.com/mchuer8h4g If you find any fresh typos, please send them to my attention using […]

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Facebook Live. You know, for authors.

March 2, 2018 | By | Reply More
Facebook Live. You know, for authors.

The historical romance author Cecelia Mecca interviewed about the joy of using Facebook Live broadcasts as a writer to interact with your readers. 

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