The Technical Side of Writing

Links to posts covering word use, grammar, punctuation, passive voice, etc.

Do You Know the Real Reason Not to Use the Passive Voice?

The dreaded ‘passive’ voice. It’s something I’m working on cutting in my novel revisions at the moment. This post by an editor shows an example of the difference between using the passive voice and the active voice when writing.

Punctuation Made Easy

This is by far the best site on punctuation I’ve found. It covers colons, semicolons, commas, dashes and apostrophes. It is very straightforward and clear and makes understanding how to use punctuation very easy. I always thought I was good at punctuation, but reading so many complicated posts on punctuation on the internet has often left me confused on whether I’m doing it right. This site is now my go to site when I need clarity.

Ten Mistakes Writers Don’t See (But Can Easily Fix When They Do)

Before you submit your work, double-check to make sure you haven’t made any of these mistakes that are easy to fix. (Sometimes this is where a critique partner can come in handy.)

NOTE: For number one, I find Wordle is a helpful website for weeding out crutch words. For number nine, reading aloud is a great way to pick up on awkward phrasing.

Have You Ever Heard the One About “Was”?

I’ll admit to being wary of using the word ‘was’ in my writing, though I’ve now come to be a little more accepting of it. Author Emma Darwin makes some good points about why ‘was’ isn’t as bad as a lot of writers are led to believe. She tells how often it isn’t the word ‘was’ that’s the problem and goes on to outline the underlying problems that are often blamed on ‘was’.

Commonly Confused Words

You know those tricky words, like ‘lie’ and ‘lay’? This post clears up some of the confusion with commonly misused words.

En Dash vs. Em Dash

Not sure what the difference between them is? This posts helps clear it up.

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