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Old 03-01-2000, 01:52 AM   #1
Laurel
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Hi guys... Since we started the the volunteer editor's program, I thought I'd give y'all a place to discuss story editing issues, like grammar, sentence structure, etc. etc. Here, voluteer editors can share with readers and writers some of the common mistakes they see and what they think makes a story look (and read) sharp. Readers can ask for opinions of the editors and fellow readers & writers on how a certain paragraph/esentence/phrase works or does not work.

We realize that many of you writers submit your stories in order to get feedback on them, and many of you are interested in more in-depth feedback than what you receive. This forum is meant as a place where you can get comments on specific grammatical/structural issues.

I thought I'd break in the board by mentioning a common error, off the top of my head..

Misuse of punctuation in quotes:
examples:
"Suck me there", she said. - WRONG
"Suck me there." she said. - WRONG
"Suck me there!", she said. - WRONG
"Suck me there" she said! - WRONG
"Suck me there," she said. - RIGHT
"Suck me there!" she said. - RIGHT

In a quotation, the ending punctuation relating to whatever the character said goes inside the last quote. If the sentence they said - in this case "Suck me there" - would end in a period if taken out of the quotes, then you would substitute a comma IF the quote was not the whole sentence (as in this case, where it ends with 'she said'.)

Also, a few spelling notes:

"tongue", not "tounge" or "tounge"
"cum" or (preferably "come"), not "cummm", "cummmmm", etc.
"blow job" is two words
"hard-on" is hyphenated as shown

also, be aware of these homonyms:
"their, they're, there"
"too, two, to"
"it's, its"

Hope this helps! We want to help make your stories shine, so if there's you have questions, please don't be shy about asking!
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Old 03-02-2000, 12:10 AM   #2
SpecialK
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Great idea for starting this forum, Laurel!!

Another two notes about quotation marks:

1. The end quote does not go after 'he said.' (etc) ie: "Suck me hard, he said." should be "Suck me hard," he said.

2. You should begin a new paragrah whenever someone new speaks. So instead of "Suck me hard!" he said. "Your wish is my command," she replied.
It should be: "Suck me hard!" he said.
"Your wish is my command," she replied.

K

[This message has been edited by SpecialK (edited 03-01-2000).]
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:17 PM   #3
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New Forum

This is very helpful to us who often wonder if our paragraphs are grammatically correct. Thanks for posting these tips.
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ;135470
Hi guys... Since we started the the volunteer editor's program, I thought I'd give y'all a place to discuss story editing issues, like grammar, sentence structure, etc. etc. Here, voluteer editors can share with readers and writers some of the common mistakes they see and what they think makes a story look (and read) sharp. Readers can ask for opinions of the editors and fellow readers & writers on how a certain paragraph/esentence/phrase works or does not work.

We realize that many of you writers submit your stories in order to get feedback on them, and many of you are interested in more in-depth feedback than what you receive. This forum is meant as a place where you can get comments on specific grammatical/structural issues.

I thought I'd break in the board by mentioning a common error, off the top of my head..

Misuse of punctuation in quotes:
examples:
"Suck me there", she said. - WRONG
"Suck me there." she said. - WRONG
"Suck me there!", she said. - WRONG
"Suck me there" she said! - WRONG
"Suck me there," she said. - RIGHT
"Suck me there!" she said. - RIGHT

In a quotation, the ending punctuation relating to whatever the character said goes inside the last quote. If the sentence they said - in this case "Suck me there" - would end in a period if taken out of the quotes, then you would substitute a comma IF the quote was not the whole sentence (as in this case, where it ends with 'she said'.)

Also, a few spelling notes:

"tongue", not "tounge" or "tounge"
"cum" or (preferably "come"), not "cummm", "cummmmm", etc.
"blow job" is two words
"hard-on" is hyphenated as shown

also, be aware of these homonyms:
"their, they're, there"
"too, two, to"
"it's, its"

Hope this helps! We want to help make your stories shine, so if there's you have questions, please don't be shy about asking!
Shouldn't it be "Suck me there!" She said. otherwise one has a sentence starting with a lower case letter?
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:43 AM   #5
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editing

Quote:
Originally Posted by ;135471
Great idea for starting this forum, Laurel!!

Another two notes about quotation marks:

1. The end quote does not go after 'he said.' (etc) ie: "Suck me hard, he said." should be "Suck me hard," he said.

2. You should begin a new paragrah whenever someone new speaks. So instead of "Suck me hard!" he said. "Your wish is my command," she replied.
It should be: "Suck me hard!" he said.
"Your wish is my command," she replied.

K

[This message has been edited by SpecialK (edited 03-01-2000).]
I am just wondering. In the sample sentence: Suck me hard!" she said. Doesn't the word 'she' start a new sentence? and shouldn't 'she' be capitalized if the exclamation point ends the previous sentence?

Last edited by robertreams : 05-17-2013 at 08:44 AM. Reason: error
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertreams View Post
I am just wondering. In the sample sentence: Suck me hard!" she said. Doesn't the word 'she' start a new sentence? and shouldn't 'she' be capitalized if the exclamation point ends the previous sentence?
No. The dialogue tag (also called attributive) is part of the same sentence. The next word after the quotation mark is not capitalized unless it is a name or the pronoun "I".
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dream_Operator View Post
No. The dialogue tag (also called attributive) is part of the same sentence. The next word after the quotation mark is not capitalized unless it is a name or the pronoun "I".
thanksfor clearing that up.
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:59 AM   #8
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The real point is that a question mark or an exclamation point at the end of a line of dialogue immediately preceding a dialogue slug functions like a comma would, not like a period.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:03 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by robertreams View Post
thanksfor clearing that up.
And you "edit" for others?
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:54 PM   #10
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Other Punctuation

Great thread idea! It would help many of us for an editor to discuss proper usage of these punctuation marks: exclamation point (!) – SINGULAR, ellipsis (. . .) – THREE dots. Some of us still space our dots. How about you? Thanks!
JuliaHandel -- on the Coast of Middle Earth
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:01 PM   #11
sr71plt
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Originally Posted by JuliaHandel View Post
Great thread idea! It would help many of us for an editor to discuss proper usage of these punctuation marks: exclamation point (!) – SINGULAR, ellipsis (. . .) – THREE dots. Some of us still space our dots. How about you? Thanks!
JuliaHandel -- on the Coast of Middle Earth
Publishing spaces the dots, so I do too. I don't use the ellipsis on the computer. (and when I edit I have to change all of those by hand. Nearly everyone uses the computer ellipsis.)

The exclamation point is hardly ever used ("An exclamation point (which should be used sparingly to be effective) marks an outcry or an emphatic or ironic comment." Chicago Manual of Style 6.71)

"An exclamation point should be placed inside quotation marks, parentheses, or brackets only when it is part of the quoted or parenthetical matter" (CMA 6.74)

An interesting point is that exclamation points can sometimes be properly used where many would put a question mark (CMA 6.72)

"How could you possibly believe that!"
"When will I ever learn!"

(no, not both a question mark and an exclamation point.)

Other than that, there's not much to say about exclamation points, because publishers don't want you to use them.
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
Publishing spaces the dots, so I do too. I don't use the ellipsis on the computer. (and when I edit I have to change all of those by hand. Nearly everyone uses the computer ellipsis.)

The exclamation point is hardly ever used ("An exclamation point (which should be used sparingly to be effective) marks an outcry or an emphatic or ironic comment." Chicago Manual of Style 6.71)

"An exclamation point should be placed inside quotation marks, parentheses, or brackets only when it is part of the quoted or parenthetical matter" (CMA 6.74)

An interesting point is that exclamation points can sometimes be properly used where many would put a question mark (CMA 6.72)

"How could you possibly believe that!"
"When will I ever learn!"

(no, not both a question mark and an exclamation point.)

Other than that, there's not much to say about exclamation points, because publishers don't want you to use them.
Thanks for addressing those points. Sorry for the delay; I’m usually off line.
Julia Handel – Thursday, May 30, 2013
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurel View Post
Hi guys... Since we started the the volunteer editor's program, I thought I'd give y'all a place to discuss story editing issues, like grammar, sentence structure, etc. etc. Here, voluteer editors can share with readers and writers some of the common mistakes they see and what they think makes a story look (and read) sharp. Readers can ask for opinions of the editors and fellow readers & writers on how a certain paragraph/esentence/phrase works or does not work.

We realize that many of you writers submit your stories in order to get feedback on them, and many of you are interested in more in-depth feedback than what you receive. This forum is meant as a place where you can get comments on specific grammatical/structural issues.

I thought I'd break in the board by mentioning a common error, off the top of my head..

Misuse of punctuation in quotes:
examples:
"Suck me there", she said. - WRONG
"Suck me there." she said. - WRONG
"Suck me there!", she said. - WRONG
"Suck me there" she said! - WRONG
"Suck me there," she said. - RIGHT
"Suck me there!" she said. - RIGHT


In a quotation, the ending punctuation relating to whatever the character said goes inside the last quote. If the sentence they said - in this case "Suck me there" - would end in a period if taken out of the quotes, then you would substitute a comma IF the quote was not the whole sentence (as in this case, where it ends with 'she said'.)

Also, a few spelling notes:

"tongue", not "tounge" or "tounge"
"cum" or (preferably "come"), not "cummm", "cummmmm", etc.
"blow job" is two words
"hard-on" is hyphenated as shown

also, be aware of these homonyms:
"their, they're, there"
"too, two, to"
"it's, its"

Hope this helps! We want to help make your stories shine, so if there's you have questions, please don't be shy about asking!
I just realized that there are some things here that aren't actually errors.

The bolded are the ones that deserve most of the attention.

"She went over there," she said. and "She went over there", she said. are BOTH right.

The difference is the American and British grammar. The American version has the comma inside the quotation, while the British has it on the outside outside.

In my honest opinion, I have learned it the British way and it makes much more sense, grammatically speaking, to have the comma outside the quotations. When there is a speech made, you don't verbally say the comma, so why would you put it as part of the speech?

Regardless of which version a writer picks, they MUST be consistent.

Last edited by TheRiseFromAshes : 06-04-2013 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
Publishing spaces the dots, so I do too. I don't use the ellipsis on the computer. (and when I edit I have to change all of those by hand. Nearly everyone uses the computer ellipsis.)

The exclamation point is hardly ever used ("An exclamation point (which should be used sparingly to be effective) marks an outcry or an emphatic or ironic comment." Chicago Manual of Style 6.71)

"An exclamation point should be placed inside quotation marks, parentheses, or brackets only when it is part of the quoted or parenthetical matter" (CMA 6.74)

An interesting point is that exclamation points can sometimes be properly used where many would put a question mark (CMA 6.72)

"How could you possibly believe that!"
"When will I ever learn!"

(no, not both a question mark and an exclamation point.)

Other than that, there's not much to say about exclamation points, because publishers don't want you to use them.
I don't believe one starts a sentence with a lowercase letter cloaked within a parenthesis. Bad form. Obviously not an editor worth his salt.

I could go on but why bother. He/She claims to be a high-dollar editor. I wonder why when a high-school editor (according to him/her) outperforms him/her?

SR is overrated. Read, listen, learn.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:37 PM   #15
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I don't believe one starts a sentence with a lowercase letter cloaked within a parenthesis. Bad form. Obviously not an editor worth his salt.
Actually you do, as far as I know. If I'm wrong, please back it up, because I do this all the time.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:46 PM   #16
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You lowercase it if it's part of the sentence it's in. If it's separate, as in my example, it should be uppercased.

I rendered it incorrectly; typoed it. So shoot me.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:01 PM   #17
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Okay kewl, I learn something every day
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:47 PM   #18
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Diction in historic fiction

Slang and figures of speech can wreck your period fantasy world. A trace of comic relief can soothe your readers after you have killed off your hero, if limited to a wry observation by the supporting character: “What didn’t make him stronger, killed him,” concluded Friedrich.
But IF you are writing a period piece, when your character interjects, “I was all, like, you know, lol over his little cock, he was so, like omg!” your carefully constructed world will crash into rubble. Please, have your characters watch their mouths.
J. Handel 6/8/2013
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:18 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
You lowercase it if it's part of the sentence it's in. If it's separate, as in my example, it should be uppercased.

I rendered it incorrectly; typoed it. So shoot me.
Everyone makes mistakes, that's the only point I was trying to make. As do I. Just saying. We can pick apart one another until the end of time or just agree that we are imperfect.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:13 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by JuliaHandel View Post
Slang and figures of speech can wreck your period fantasy world. A trace of comic relief can soothe your readers after you have killed off your hero, if limited to a wry observation by the supporting character: “What didn’t make him stronger, killed him,” concluded Friedrich.
But IF you are writing a period piece, when your character interjects, “I was all, like, you know, lol over his little cock, he was so, like omg!” your carefully constructed world will crash into rubble. Please, have your characters watch their mouths.
J. Handel 6/8/2013
No. I'm not killing off my character. And are you real? You try and use "like" ???

Do what you want at your own risk.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:16 PM   #21
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Actually you do, as far as I know. If I'm wrong, please back it up, because I do this all the time.
Please ID when I don't
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:25 AM   #22
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Mortified

Please remember, we are volunteer editors.

I'm good with rules, grammar, syntax, and more. However, I did just capitalize dialogue tags in a story I edited recently. Why? I'm not sure. It was a slip-up. Maybe I was trying to save time.

At any rate, I'm mortified. I'm chagrined.

I'm going to keep editing.

Please don't blackball me, Mistress Lynn, et al.

I'm actually a good editor and I just keep getting better.
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:22 AM   #23
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Boy, Julia did you strike a note with me on this one. It isn't only far out fantasy that can be ruined by slangisms (my word). Using that third person narrative embedded with just lots of cool slang is just what the doctor mostly didn't order. Strange how one or two words can make so much difference. I was editing a story for someone else the other day. Right in the middle of a hot sex scene,she said her character had a "nice" penis. Instant deflation.
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:25 AM   #24
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I hear you, it is an easy mistake to make. I am sure that I was taught that way as a child and "She said." is easily a complete sentence. Also, I believe that 60 years ago we were taught to put the period after the quote. At least in the private schools I went to.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:03 AM   #25
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I hear you, it is an easy mistake to make. I am sure that I was taught that way as a child and "She said." is easily a complete sentence. Also, I believe that 60 years ago we were taught to put the period after the quote. At least in the private schools I went to.
Sure if you were in England. Not in the United States. This isn't some new language invention.
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