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Posted: 4/5/2016 1:41 AM PDT

I read your post with interest and found much of it to be excellent advice for any writer, whatever their age.  However I would suggest that you should be rather more careful about the rules of punctuation; although Americans have had their own rules, which they call "standard" for several hundred years, English is named after the Angles who settled in the British Isles some 1,700 years ago and we follow different rules for where you should place punctuation marks when combined with quotation marks.  Many American Universities are now recommending style guides that follow the British or 'Logical' (because it is guided by the logic of the construction of the sentence and because in Formal Logic these rules apply) system.  Therefore I would argue that it is up to the individual to choose their style.  I also find it infuriating when some readers try to 'correct' the use of British, Australian, NZ spelling: Webster deliberately chose to use ancient Greek roots whereas our way reflects the etymological development of the language.  I would remind you of Chomsky's statement about native speakers and grammatical form.
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Posted: 10/12/2015 10:24 AM PDT
Thank you for this. I refer to this often while i write. There are times when we're chugging along with our writing (Maybe just me) where we forget things, second guess ourselves, or are unsure about punctuation. I've gotten a lot better ( I think) over time, but it's always good to double check.

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Posted: 11/19/2013 11:35 AM PST
I feel like this should be a must read for all Page to Fame submitters.
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Posted: 5/3/2013 8:00 PM PDT
...thinking about entering Page to Fame. Some pointers (feel free to add some or argue some if you find umbrage with them): 1. Edit. Your. Entry. I've read ten submissions tonight and eight of them would have been ranked higher if they had read it aloud to put the comas in their proper places. We all make mistakes, typos happen, and almost every author needs, as a friend of mine called it: "A coma eliminator." But take the time to do it right. Just because it's free to enter doesn't mean you should take it lightly. A reader can only read your sub for the first time once, and if they find it poorly edited you're ruining your chances no matter how many times you submit it. 2. Check. Your. Summary. Listen, it's very, very hard to come up with 200 characters that describe your book, but it's a necessary and good exercise to try. Besides, it's the reader's first glimpse at your work, and believe me, when you're standing in a book store hocking your paperback there's nothing worse than having to look a potential reader in the eye and say: "Well, it's kind of a long story..." A. I know your book is about the main character, I don't need "Tells the story of the main character" included in the summary. B. I don't need you to tell me the themes, I need the book to explore them. C. Quoting yourself in the summary is never a good idea. D. Describing your book as "pleasant," "intriguing," or "thought-provoking" isn't going to please me, intrigue me or provoke thoughts from me. Your book might, but let it do it by itself. 3. Just because YOU know everything in the world about something doesn't mean everyone else does. And just because you find tall, dark and handsome men sexy doesn't mean every woman does. Wait... Scratch that last part. But just because you think that werewolves are sexy doesn't mean you can just say: "He was a werewolf, and so I knew I had to have him!" and expect me to nod and think: "Well, who DOESN'T want a werewolf simply because he's a werewolf?" 4. Webook allows you to check the formatting before you submit. Please check the formatting before you submit. Sentences that read like this really annoy the crap out of me. 5. Dialogue is where you show the reader who your characters are. Punctuation in dialogue is where you show the reader where you are as a writer. It's "Do it right," - COMA - he said. Asked. Sneered. Slurred. Anything describing the speech. It's "Do it right." - PERIOD - He shrugged. Nodded. Waved. Anything not describing the speech. And the coma/period/question mark goes BEFORE the quotation marks. Unless it's a sub-quote - as in me quoting my friend in dialogue: "He said: 'to hell with it' and walked away." 6. You've got a page and a summary - that's it. Look, it's called "Page to Fame" not "Here's the beginning of my book but it shouldn't be judged on the first page because it gets REALLY GOOD about fifty pages in!" -__- You have a PAGE and a SUMMARY. I'm not judging your book - that comes later. And, in all honesty, my latest sub doesn't have a kick ass first page. I tried to make up for it in the summary and we'll see what happens. But as caustic as this post's tone is, it saddens me to rate down a book for any reason, because I know there's an artist on the other side of that submission. Anything you can do to make it easier for me to rate your book up - without compromising your artistic nature (and nothing I mentioned here would) - is a POSITIVE thing. It just makes it easier for your genius to be found and spread to the millions of people who want more books. *Whew* I feel better. Now, back to rating (and pretending to be a werewolf in every public setting, just in case...)
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