English Grammar 101: Parts of Speech

A word is a “part of speech” only when it is used in a sentence. The function the word serves in a sentence is what makes it whatever part of speech it is. For example, the word “run” can be used as more than one part of speech:
 Sammy hit a home run. (run is … Read more

Minimise Distractions When Writing: 4 Practical Tips

Perhaps you’ve managed to get into the habit of writing every day, but you’ve also acquired the distraction habit. You sit down at your computer, fire up your word processor and type a couple of sentences – but then an email arrives, and once you’ve replied to that, you check Twitter and Facebook … then … Read more

BlogMastermind: A Training Program for Bloggers

No writing tips on this post, but I figured many of our readers would be interested in know about this training program. BlogMastermind is basically a course, with the duration of 6 months, and the aim of giving all the information and tools that a person needs to create a successful blog and to make … Read more

Short Story Competition: Second Batch is Open for Voting!

Below you will find the second batch with 10 more stories (you can read the first batch here). Basically we will have 7 batches with 10 stories each. They will get published every Monday, and the poll stays open until the following Sunday. Once we have the 7 batch winners, we will post the stories … Read more

Word of the Day: Bombast

Bombast (bŏm’băst’) means loud-mouthed, inflated speech. Bombast was cotton stuffing used to pad some types of clothing. The adjective is bombastic. No, really – rent it [V or Vendetta] tonight, adjust your mental filter so you’re expecting a parody of bombastic posturing guff, and I guarantee you’ll be roaring with laughter at least eight times. … Read more

Publishing Horror Stories

Want to know which mistakes to avoid? Here’s a publisher’s perspective. In the latest issue of Publishing Basics, Carolyn Madison reveals some of the errors that make publishers cringe.  These include misspellings, poor grammar and punctuation, structural problems, ambiguous messages and inaccurate content. They have a nice list of the always common misspelled words also: … Read more

Cut To The Chase

Cut to the chase is a common expression, meaning get to the point. It’s an exhortation to omit flowery phrases and unnecessary preamble and focus on the core issue. This expression first appeared in newspapers in the 1940s, though it has an older origin in the American film industry. In the era of silent film, … Read more

Conversational Email

One reader, Bruce, wrote in to ask: I find it curious that the written word now includes expressions clearly intended for verbal exchange. I’m referring to many of the suggestions you provided for email. In an attempt to be accurate and possibly too literal, I have tended to opt out of those uses. Specifically, when … Read more

Review of Eats, Shoots and Leaves.

I’ve finally got round to reading Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. Here’s a book that is not only useful and fun to read, its phenomenal popularity carries a moral for every writer: Don’t worry about following the market. Don’t try to produce another DaVinci Code or Harry Potter. Write what you’re enthusiastic about … Read more

Short Story Competition: First Batch is Open for Voting!

When I launched the short story competition last week I was expecting to receive some ten, perhaps fifteen entries. The time frame for submission was not that long in fact. Boy I was wrong. We have over 60 participants! It would be impossible to post all the entries today, especially since the readers are going … Read more

Word of the Day: Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy (băngk’rŭpt’si) in a financial sense means a state of being unable to pay one’s debts. There are two kinds: liquidation, in which the debts are wiped out or discharged, and reorganization, in which the debtor provides the court with a plan for repayment. Figuratively, bankruptcy can mean a lack of some non-material value, such … Read more

The KISS Guide To Writing Keyword Rich Articles

Freelance writers are often asked to write keyword rich web content articles. If you don’t know where to begin, here’s the ‘keep it simple’ guide to get you started. Finding Keywords In most cases, clients supply the keywords you need for an article. If they don’t, then your first step is to research some appropriate … Read more