RSSCategory: Wizard of Words

How character flaws shape story.

May 25, 2020 | By | Reply More
How character flaws shape story.

How can you create characters with unique and interesting flaws that lead into plots that will enliven your stories? In this piece, author Will Storr explains the science of storytelling, covering such topics as, How we can use cause and effect in storytelling. Giving characters depth and flaws without being cliched. Creating original characters. The hard work that storytelling is for most writers. Why gossip is fundamental to storytelling. The importance of linking character and plot together. Dealing with character flaws in a series. How TV has changed readers’ expectations of books. Writing without fear of judgment.

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Apples Book get an upgrade and paperback distribution under threat (news update).

May 18, 2020 | By | Reply More
Apples Book get an upgrade and paperback distribution under threat (news update).

A book news roundup for authors. This week: The trouble over at the super-large book distributor, Bertrams, and what this means for authors – and books getting into book shops. The results of BookBub’s study into how reader behaviour has changed during the coronavirus crisis. And there’s a brand new Apple Books platform for authors, meaning Windows users can now distribute directly to Apple — without a Mac or any new software. 

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Free Fonts for your book’s typesetting? Font of all knowledge.

May 7, 2020 | By | Reply More
Free Fonts for your book’s typesetting? Font of all knowledge.

You need your book to look amazing, and typography is a key factor in design that can’t be overlooked. So where can you find free fonts online in 2020 that uphold a high standard of quality? Well, this article over at https://www.sitepoint.com/free-fonts/ gives you the best sources to nab a few good typefaces, for starters. https://www.sitepoint.com/free-fonts/

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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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