Top 10 Online Tools for Writers

All writers need a helping hand now and again – and having the best tools at your fingertips can make a huge difference. I’ve picked my favourite tools that will work for almost all writers – whether you’re a blogger, a novelist, a freelancer, or (like me) a bit of everything. We’ll take a look … Read more

How the Three Types of Conjunctions Connect Ideas

This post defines and discusses the three types of conjunctions (words or phrases that serve as a bridge linking two words, phrases, clauses, or sentences): coordinating, correlative, and subordinating conjunctions. Coordinating Conjunctions Coordinating conjunctions, also called coordinators, join words, clauses, or sentences of equal importance. The most common coordinating conjunctions, frequently listed in the following … Read more

How to Write a Short Story: Six Crucial Steps

Short stories are tricky to write well. Every word counts – and you don’t have long at all to establish characters and get the plot going. While most of my fiction-writing time goes into novels, I’ve written a bunch of short stories over the years (and even won an occasional prize). There’s plenty to like … Read more

Say No to Your Darlings

Veteran writers often advise aspiring writers to “kill your darlings.” Grisly, isn’t it, but they all say it. William Faulkner wrote, “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” Stephen King wrote, “…kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” Notice that King said “kill” … Read more

Quotation Marks, Apostrophes, and Other Raised Symbols

This post details the function of various symbols that appear the top of a line of type to communicate additional information about the text. Apostrophe The apostrophe signals that, depending on usage, one or more letters are missing or are being added to perform a grammatical function. An apostrophe • marks omission of one or … Read more

30+ Old Norse Words You Already Know

Probably you’ve never studied Conversational Viking, let alone claimed to speak it. But the language of the Vikings, Old Norse, has influenced the development of English more than any other language besides French and Latin. The Swedes, Norwegians, Icelanders, and Danes all spoke Old Norse in those days, usually called the “Danish tongue.” In the … Read more

Top 10 Online Tools to Help You Write the Perfect Essay

Writing essays can be tough … and sometimes you need all the help you can get. The great news is that there are plenty of online tools that can help you write the best essay you can – and I’m going to be running through ten of the best. Before we get into the list, … Read more

Markets and Merchants

Market and attendant words, deriving from the Latin verb mercari, meaning “trade,” are listed and defined in this post. Market, referring to a place where goods are sold, migrated to English through an ancient Germanic language, and by extension it now also pertains to a geographic region or a demographic targeted for selling of certain … Read more

Be a Ruthless Editor

Hard rules are a good thing for writers sometimes. The sonnet is one of the strictest forms of poetry, but some of the world’s greatest poems are sonnets. A haiku form is even stricter, seventeen syllables in three lines. Hard word counts force a writer to overcome his or her natural laziness by editing ruthlessly. … Read more