sallyhanan’s blog

A writer’s blog

How to Punctuate Subdivided Vertical Lists (CMOS) January 22, 2012

Filed under: Editing,Writing — sallyhanan @ 7:20 pm
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When you have lists that are subdivided (outlines), you indent each subsequent division.* You can use both numbers and letters. If you have any runover lines, align them with the first word in that sentence. For example:
Employment will be given based on the ability to fulfill the job role of each of the employment opportunities** below:

1. Stercorarius

a. Collect all human waste.
b. Cart it to the edge of town.
c. Sell it to farmers to use as fertilizer.

2. Gymnasiarch

a. Oil and scrape the athletes.
b. Tidy up after wrestling matches.
c. Beat misbehaving youths.

3. Funeral clown

a. Dress up as the person who has just died.
b. Run alongside the corpse with other clowns, cracking jokes.
c. Dance and mimic the dead person.

According to the CMOS, always use the tab bar (on the left of your keyboard) rather than the space bar to make the indentation.

For a much longer list, the punctuation changes, e.g.

I. Yucky food

II. Delicious food

A. Vegetables

    1. Green stuff
    2. Other colored stuff

B. Fruit

    1. Bitter fruit
    2. Sweet fruit

a)      Green and red

(1)    Foreign imports
(2)    Domestic

(a)    Tomatoes
(b)   Apples

i)                    Granny Smith
ii)                   Golden Delicious

b)      Etc. . . .

The top three levels are set off by periods.
Every group is given one additional indent.
Each division and subdivision should contain at least two items.

The great thing about subdivided vertical lists is that you will probably never have to use them . . . unless you are unfortunate enough to have to write school/college papers. If that disaster befalls you this list will be of no help, because this is how you puntuate according to the CMOS, which is not the style for a school paper. Use the APA guide instead, and the MLA guide if you are submitting an electronic file.

**Many thanks to listverse for the strange job descriptions!

 

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The Book is Written! Now What? December 14, 2011

Filed under: Editing,Writing — sallyhanan @ 5:34 pm
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So you’ve written your NaNoWriMo novel/book and you thought the hardest part was over. Let me be honest with you now . . . it was actually the easiest part.

Yes, I am a killjoy. Yes, such is the publishing industry. So what, exactly, do you have to do to get your work of art on bookshelves?

IMPERATIVE!
DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES start sending your manuscript out to agents. Every novel needs a beginning, middle and end; character flaws that prevent your hero from succeeding too early on in the story; character development; descriptive settings; humor, tragedy, mystery, etc.

Your first necessity is to find out if your book is any good. You can find out through:

Your mom
If you’ve never written anything before but your family loves it, this is not a guarantee that you have talent. No one who loves you is going to tell you to your face that your novel sucks. You need to show your baby to strangers.

Your friends
Your besties have read your book and they tell you it’s good but they aren’t raving. They have kind words and some suggestions, but they aren’t on the phone to their other besties telling them they absolutely MUST read your offerings. This is a CLUE that your book is only sort of good . . . or it’s total crap.

Strangers
These are the most honest of all (except for the trolls, who are despicable creatures who live under bridges and eat you when you try to cross over).

BOOK WRITING GROUPS – you submit a chapter a month and you must review the other writers’ chapters for them, or only one chapter from one writer is shared per month. This can be excruciatingly slow, and most writers love to slam your writing rather than build you up and point out the good parts. The benefit of a writing group is that it’s free.

DEVELOPMENTAL EDITORS – S/he will work with you, chapter by chapter, until your book gets to a good enough level to be published. Unless you have a very close friend who will do it for free, this can get expensive. Sometimes you can get lucky and find an editor who will edit in exchange for some other skill you have, like cleaning his guns or her toilets five times a week for the next year.

WEEKEND RETREATS – Bring the outline of your novel (with its main plot and subplots) to a writers’ retreat and get the instant feedback, advice and encouragement you can use to develop your story once you get home. Count on spending just under $1,000 between your flights, car rental, food and the retreat center.

ONLINE WRITING GROUPS – Usually you post your first chapter online and you must give a certain number of reviews on other novels before you can post the next one. Depending on the popularity of the site, this might be your best free option.

“But I don’t want to WAIT!” you whine. Believe me, you can whine all you like and it won’t make your book any better. What you need is a lot of patience and time. If you think about it realistically, your book can wait another few months to a year before it drops off the shelves into the hands of the frenzied masses. You really don’t want to embarrass yourself by attempting to fob off your half-baked novel—that hasn’t a touch of excellence added to it—on them. Or do you . . . ?

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

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Web copy writing tips June 24, 2010

Filed under: Business advice,Copywriting,Writing — sallyhanan @ 7:50 pm
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Imagine you have a house that is stunningly beautiful; and it is set up for parties, dinners, and dances. Every person who comes to one of your parties is enthusiastically welcomed, he has a great time every minute he is there, and he gets to go home with party favors. Each guest is going to think about his time at your house for a long time, and he is going to want to come back and visit as soon as possible. Web copy needs to make a site’s visitors feel the same way.

Web copy
When you write copy for Web sites, you have some goals in mind, but the bottom line is that you want readers to get the warm fuzzies and feel completely at home with the site and everything it represents. You also want them to get a little taste of the goods, and you want that taste to make them hungry for more. It’s like a first date—you dress up, use your best manners, flatter, open up a little, and leave her at the door after a sweet kiss. Then you follow up on that kiss with a phone call . . . but that’s another writer’s job.

Still a little overwhelmed? Follow this checklist:
-Welcome
-Who?
-How?
-Why?
-What? (Peek and taste)
-Hungry for more

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

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How to write something quote worthy June 4, 2010

Filed under: Copywriting,Social media tips,Writing — sallyhanan @ 10:57 pm
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We all have moments in our lives when sentences come out of our mouths and the people listening seems to dissolve in rapturous admiration. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating. :) Nevertheless, how is it possible to get that kind of genius into our writing?

Some of the things we love about quotes:
They make us laugh.
They make us think more deeply.
They make us seem more interesting.

We all have the ability to come up with a string of words. How can we do that in one sentence that is funny, interesting, and thoughtful?

My dog is on the floor, eyes closed, hair decorating the carpet around him. What can I put together? What comes to mind?
A dog’s life
Get back in your kennel.
Dog flaps
Bad hair day
Mute
Dry food
Doggone it!

Doggone it—a phrase invented because of a missing steak and a lick of a dog’s lips.

If I think about marriage, I think of
affection
support
friendship
assumptions
sarcasm
disagreements


“Building a marriage is like building a house—laying one stubborn brick on another with love as the cement.”

“When you open your heart to another you take the risk of being hurt deeply, but you also open yourself to being loved fully.

Your turn.

If I think about family, I think of
memories
laughter
food
closeness
trust

See what you can come up with. . . .

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

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Free graphic images/clip art for your blog May 31, 2010

Filed under: Social media tips,Writing — sallyhanan @ 10:09 pm
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I found the cutest site for free pictures today, and I want to share it with you. It’s called “The Graphics Fairy.” While it’s primarily for hobbyists to enjoy, Karen (a.k.a. The Graphics Fairy) is kind enough to share the pictures she posts.

The Graphics Fairy

Karen does ask for one thing, though:

“Please do not use more than 6 of the graphic images within any one project, or within a single page of a blog or website. A link to the Graphics Fairy is very much appreciated, when including clipart on your blog or website.”


This particular drawing is from an early calligraphy book Karen owns.

“Most of my images are pre 1923.”

Karen also posts free things for your blog, on a regular basis. Take a look at what she is currently offering.

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

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Make money writing May 18, 2010

Filed under: Business advice,Copywriting,Writing — sallyhanan @ 11:19 pm
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I started to write in earnest in 2005. I had big dreams and a notable ego, but I quickly found that no one else was quite as impressed by my writing as I thought he/she would be.

When you are your only critic, everything you write is wonderful.


Five years later, with a dried-up ego and smaller expectations, I am finally making money. Granted, this month’s check is a paltry sum that only pays two household bills, but it is something. By next year I should have earned back all the money I spent on conferences, books, and magazines on writing. :D

So how did I do it?

Step One
Write for free.

Step two
Once you have about five published clips, start querying the magazines that pay $5-$10 per piece, then gradually increase your queries to magazines that pay from $15-$100.

Step three
Once you have clips from three recognizable magazines, start to query the magazines you really want to write for.

Don’t make the same mistake I did in the process—I kept looking for new magazines to write for, but what I neglected to recognize, as a huge blessing, were the magazines that actually liked me enough to publish me in the first place.

Your regular sources of income might be right under your nose.

I recently contacted some older magazines’ editors to remind them how much they loved me, and to see if they needed any new material. One has now added me as a regular on her mail-out request for submissions; another has asked me to write another piece for her October issue. This leads us to step four.


Step four
Don’t bite the hand that fed you. :)

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

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Writing the perfect query May 12, 2010

Filed under: Writing — sallyhanan @ 4:33 pm
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Via booksandsuch.biz There is no such thing as a perfect query, but there is such as thing as studying your preferred agent and catering to his/her tastes when you write your tantalizing e-mail.

Wendy Lawton had written three blog posts about how to write a good query.
In part one she tackles misconceptions about queries.
Part two is about what Wendy like to see and not see in a query.
In part three, Wendy shows what can happen when you try too hard to be funny.

On a side note, Chip McGregor has announced the winner of his (worst) poetry of the year contest. Some writing friends won awards, of whom I am very proud. :D

To see the winning entries, visit Chip’s site.

 

 

Every piece of writing needs to be clear and precise. With microscope in hand, Inksnatcher’s writing and editing service will hone any work until it glitters in the light of a 1,000 watt bulb.

sallylogo3 INKSNATCHER.COM                                                                                                                                      

 

 

 

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