Category Archives: Grammar

Story Feedback: Free and Paid Options for Writers

It’s a sad fact, but most writers don’t have a basement full of money, meaning the word BUDGET is kind of a big deal. We want to publish but to do it, we have to think carefully about where we … Continue reading

Posted in Agents, Critique Groups, Critiquing & Critiques, Editing Tips, Grammar, Motivational, Publishing and Self Publishing, Reader Feedback, Rejection, Revision and Editing, The Business of Writing, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Stripping Down My Prose: Risking the Removal of Adjectives

Happy to welcome Margaret McNellis to the blog today. She’s tried an interesting experiment with her writing to create stronger, tighter prose, so please read on! When I was a Masters of Arts student studying English and Creative Writing, one of … Continue reading

Posted in Editing Tips, Grammar, Guest Post, Revision and Editing | 21 Comments

The Fatal Flaw of Underwriting

Hi everyone–I hope you had a terrific weekend and are in the mood to learn. Today I’m handing over the blog keys to Rachel Starr Thomson, one of the editors who have jointly written 5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws … Continue reading

Posted in Editing Tips, Grammar, Guest Post, Revision and Editing, Uncategorized | 39 Comments

Inside the Metaphor

Metaphors. Most of us know we should use them, that they’re a good way to describe, but not everyone has a solid understanding of what they are. Seeing as metaphors are one of the most powerful communication tools between writer … Continue reading

Posted in Description, Grammar, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 35 Comments

Seven Deadly Sins for Novel Writing: Sin V

Sin # 5: Flat Wordsmithing We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘The writing is flat.’ The question is, what does that really mean? Flat writing is where the prose lies dead on the page. Descriptions, characters and stakes are conveyed in … Continue reading

Posted in Cliches, Description, Editing Tips, Grammar, Seven Writing Sins | 19 Comments

Grammbo Speaks: The Manuscripts Editors Don’t Want to See

Angela and Becca have asked me to comment on the most common “mistakes” I see in the manuscripts I assess and edit. I’ve tried to used more of a big picture view here, rather than a list of nags about … Continue reading

Posted in Editing Tips, Grammar, Writing Resources | 27 Comments

Grammar Answers Round #2

Hello again, everybody. Lots of punctuation questions this time. My answers address punctuation in fiction, which is a little more flexible and not quite as rigid as scholarly writing or journalism. Punctuation is a tool that some writers use to … Continue reading

Posted in Grammar | 6 Comments

Long Live Grammar!

We are pleased to announce Grammbo, the Grammar Guru will be returning to the Bookshelf Muse to answer more grammar-related questions. For those who are new to the Muse, Grammbo is a successful editor who does manuscript evaluation, style, and … Continue reading

Posted in Grammar | 7 Comments

Grammbo Speaks: Advice From an Editor

We have a secret editor answering questions today, so please read on! 1. “When is it okay to switch tense? (If it’s ever okay.)” Hi Windsong5. Grammatically speaking, as long as the construction is correct for the tense, there are … Continue reading

Posted in Editing Tips, Grammar | 7 Comments

The Grammar Guru is in…

Not sure who or what is a split infinitive? In purgatory over your present participles, tense over tenses? Do your modifiers *gasp* dangle? It’s okay, you can tell us. We understand. In fact, we can help. And by we, I … Continue reading

Posted in Grammar | 11 Comments