Tag Archive | Spelling

To Capitalize, or not to capitalize?

Rules, rules, and more rules…

Why can’t we just write and not worry about them?

Well, in today’s market, with so much competition, I highly suggest that you polish your manuscript to a shine before submitting it to an agent or publisher. So, that being said, it’s important to understand grammatical rules.

I will say right now, that I’m still learning them. This goes right along with everything else I keep learning. You think you know it all, them BAM!, you find out you’re still doing something wrong.

So, today, I’d like to talk about capitalization. I’ve mastered the “mom, dad, father, mother” rule. That one is pretty easy. Here are some examples: “I love my mom.” (not capitalized). On the other hand, “Hey, Mom, I love you!” (capitalized). The difference is that in the second sentence I’m using “Mom” as her name or identity. Here is another example. “Have you seen your dad lately?” (general, not capitalized). “Have you seen Dad lately?” (by removing ‘your’ and making the sentence more specific, the word now needs to be capitalized).

It gets a little more complicated when you start writing stories about kings and queens. I’ve recently discovered this and had to do some research. But again it goes back to the “in general” or “specific” rule. It’s easy when you put king or queen with a name following. Such as “I’m off to see King Richard.” If you simply write, “I’m off to see the king,” the capital letter goes away.

I’m certain that I’ll still make mistakes, and all I can say to that is: “Thank God for editors!” It’s their job to find all those little nit-picky things that your readers will be happy to point out when they review your book. You’ve probably read books with typos that jump out at you, and halt your reading. They happen, but you should always try to keep them to a minimum. And if you self-publish, this is more crucial than ever. Before sending your work for publication, hire a reputable editor. It will be worth the money, and save you from embarrassment.

So now, I’m off to write about Prince Sebastian!


And they lived happily ever after...

And they lived happily ever after…

A Writer’s Acronym

Now that my most recent work in progress, “From the Ashes of Atlanta,” is complete, it seems that my mind is searching for new twists on creative thoughts.

Normally, while falling asleep at night, I think of my next scene, or perhaps my characters discover their dialog in the depths of my brain. Scary, huh?

Well, last night, my mind took a different direction. And yes, my husband thinks I’m slightly bonkers.

I’ve always loved acronyms, and some can be quite clever. So, here are my thoughts on what it means to WRITE:

What Readers Itch To Experience

Whatever Really Ignites The Editor

Watch Repetitive Ideas That Explode

Women’s Reactions Inadvertently Tell Everything

I had fun with this! If you come up with some of your own, please share them. And, thank goodness I’ve got them written down now. Maybe I’ll sleep tonight. 🙂

I’m still on that long, winding road to publication and the adventure couldn’t be more exciting. Well, that’s not exactly true. When I get my publishing deal, you will witness excitement like no other. I hope that you will continue to follow my blog and share your experiences with me.

Most importantly…


Civil War


Silly words, Silly rules…

How important is it to have a “clean” manuscript when the time comes to submit to an agent or publisher? And by clean, I don’t mean “G-Rated.”

This kind of clean deals with punctuation, spelling, and grammar.

Coming from a writer who is on the edge of being published, I can tell you what I’ve learned. The cleaner, the better.

Yes, if you intend to publish traditionally, then you will have an editor who will go over your work with a fine-toothed comb, but I believe they appreciate effort on the writer’s part even before they see the manuscript. I know that if I was sitting in their position, I would be more inclined to read something clean, than something that had bothersome errors staring at me in every sentence.

Have you ever read a book and found typos? I know I have, and they tend to throw off my reading. I know that we’re all human, and it’s impossible to catch every typo, but give it your best. This definitely applies if you plan to self-publish. And if that’s something you plan to do, I would highly suggest you hire a professional editor to go over your work. The last thing you want to do is publish something that isn’t ready.

As for the rules of writing…they can change.

Years ago, (back in the days of typewriters), the rule for spaces after a period, was two spaces. Somewhere along the line, that changed. The rule is now, one space. This may seem trivial, but it makes a difference. It took me a while to get used to not hitting the space bar twice at the end of a sentence, but have now almost mastered it. I occasionally slip!

Which brings up something else. The word, (or words), awhile. I read a very good article about how to know when to use awhile, or a while. I’ve been using this little trick ever since: It will almost always be two words, unless you can replace the words in your sentence with “for a short time.”

So, if I were to write: I’m going out for a while, it would be two words, because it wouldn’t make sense to say: I’m going out for for a short time.  However, if you wanted to write: I’m going out awhile, (leaving out “for”), then it would work.  If you replace awhile  in this sentence with, for a short time, then it would read: I’m going out for a short time.  I hope that makes sense!!

I use Word 2010 for all of my writing, and I drive it crazy! I write dialog to fit my characters, and most of them do not speak proper English. So the automated “grammar and spell check” freaks out. I laughed the first time I saw the message, “this document contains too many grammatical/spelling errors to display.” I don’t think those are the exact words, but close.

If you have any fun little rules of writing that you would like to share, please do. I find that I’m constantly learning new things and would love your input.

No matter, what…keep on writing. The more you write, the better you will get.


I think I'll lay down awhile, or maybe sleep for a while.

I think I’ll lay down awhile, or maybe sleep for a while.