And a few quicky notes on things readers frequently mistake for mistakes

  • While compound adjectives for example, “three-day sale” are frequently hyphenated, adjective phrases that use -ly words are not.
    Incorrect: carefully-worded letter
    Correct: carefully worded letter
  • It is correct to use serial semicolons to list items presented as long phrases in narrative, whether items are listed in a single paragraph, or are broken into multiple paragraphs for reading clarity
  • In situations in which a single character speaks across two or more paragraphs without breaks, you only close the last paragraph with a quotation mark.
    Correct: Mary said, “I want to make sure we get there on time.
    “It’s hard for me to travel, but nevertheless, I think I’m going to be able to make the trip.
    “The thing that worries me most, though, is that some of my fellow travelers will get so far ahead of me that I won’t be able to find them when I arrive.”

    Incorrect: Mary said, “I want to make sure we get there on time.”
    “It’s hard for me to travel, but nevertheless, I think I’m going to be able to make the trip.”
    “The thing that worries me most, though, is that some of my fellow travelers will get so far ahead of me that I won’t be able to find them when I arrive.”

    In the second example, it looks like at least one, and possibly two, other speakers are replying, even though these quots are unattributed.

  • And a final note on the philosphy of the book. A couple readers thought they saw an easy way to solve the book’s core conflict, and asked why Cady didn’t use a specific ability she had to force the people who stood against her to do what she wanted. Aside from the fact that she couldn’t travel to 2000+ separate star systems in the hundred-ish days she had to do what she had to do, or deal face to face with the billions of people who were causing the core conflict, she didn’t do it because the use of force to compel action is by its very nature unethical, and while she did slip once in the book, Cady isn’t.
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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

1 comment… add one
  • Lee Dec 13, 2012 @ 0:42

    I learned something important in this Post. Thanks so much Holly.

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