Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#NewSeries 2020- Pot Luck #Writing – Why to avoid “ing” words in fiction by D. Wallace Peach

This bad writing habit is so common among beginning writers, that most of us (those who are honest) can look back and admit to having gone through this phase and thankfully have outgrown it. Read on for valuable writing tips from Diana W. Peach, guest on Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Blog Magazine.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives… and I will be picking two posts from the blogs of those participating from the first six months of 2020. If you don’t mind me rifling through your archives… just let me know in the comments or you can find out the full scope: Posts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020

This is the first post for Diana Wallace Peach and this week some help when navigating the grammar rules regarding the ‘ing’ words..

A few weeks ago, I had a blog-conversation with Jacqui Murray of Worddreams  about editing out “ing” words. I’ve heard many times that these words should be avoided when writing fiction but never understood why. While some writing no-nos stab me in the eye every time I read them (such as filter words words), “ing” words never really bothered me.

So, a…

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Grammar Manners – Say it Right

Writers, do you struggle with grammar? Here is one way of helping yourself sort out how to “say it right.” But first, look at these sweet little dogs.

Exemplary Behavior – by Horatio Henry Couldery (1832-1893)

Having and using good manners will always be important to me. Although I don’t feed my dogs at the table, I couldn’t help admiring the good manners displayed by the dogs in this painting.

DSCN9420

My old “Good Manners for All Occasions” says it’s polite for the man to open the door for the lady, and for that matter, for any younger person to open it for the older one. This custom is considered to be polite, but in the penguin world, letting someone else go first is based on survival.

penguins

Penguins stand in a line at the edge of the ice, ready to go for a dip in the ocean for a bit of fishing. Who will test the waters first? The crowd gathers at the water’s edge jostling each other until finally, one of them falls in. If he isn’t attacked by a lurking leopard seal in the next few moments, the rest of the penguins dive in.

But surely, we humans have evolved from these primitive, yet effective, tactics. We now consider it polite to allow others to go first. We offer others the first choice from the food platter, even though it occasionally backfires on us.

This was the case when at dinner, Joe passed the meat platter to his brother Bob first before helping himself. When Joe complained because Bob took the biggest piece, Bob asked, “What would you have done?”

Joe sniffed. “I would have taken the smaller piece, of course.”

“Well, you have it,” Bob said. “So what’s the problem?”

*****

In spite of these odd cases, modern society generally agrees that we should let others go first. And so it is with grammar.

We name the other person(s) first and then ourselves. If it is that simple, why is it still such a problem in our writing?

Following are some tips and guidelines.

When naming others first, we would not begin a sentence with: Me and Joe, Me and him, Me and her, I and Joe.

Okay, we know we should name Joe first, but even so, is it Him and me, Joe and me, or Joe and I?

Let’s look at some sample sentences where you and Joe are the subjects of the verb. Here are the possibilities:

Joe and me / Joe and I / Him and me / Him and I / He and me / He and I / drove to town.

 

When in doubt, leave Joe out. Without Joe in the car, you are in the driver’s seat and of course you would say “I drove to town” not “Me drove to town.” When you take on that extra passenger, if you need to get the feel of whether it’s Joe or him or he, try leaving yourself out. “Joe drove to town” or “Him drove to town” or “He drove to town”?

“Him drove to town” simply does not work, so you can use either “Joe” or He.”

*****

I’m still shocked when I see sentences like “Me and him went to the party.” You would never say “Me went to the party” or “Him went to the party,” so why would you say “Me and him” or even “Him and me” (went to the party)?

And now we come to the other situation where you and Joe are the objects of the verb. Which is correct?

The sun shone on:

me and Joe

Joe and me

Joe and I

him and me

him and I

he and I

First rule is to mention others first so that narrows it down to Joe/him/he and me/I. Second, leave out me/I and we have “The sun shone on Joe (or him).” Then leave out Joe and we have “The sun shone on me” (you wouldn’t say “I”). So together we have “The sun shone on Joe/him and me.” Better yet, say “The sun shone on us.”

Now may the sun shine on your grammar and mine.

When you have finished writing your book, why not check out my webpage for copy-editing and other goodies?

anneli-purchase.com

 

 

The Crossroads Trilogy

Three Great Books

We all love to read a book that is so good we can’t put it down. Imagine finding three of them! You’ll get that in the Crossroads Series written by Jacqui Murray. Her books caught me by surprise. I read “Survival of the Fittest” not realizing at the time that it was the first of three in The Crossroads Series.

Well, I LOVED the book.

It was a story that could have been true, but of course it was fiction. The setting is  Africa, 850,000 years ago. Yes, you read that right. It was a long, long time ago when mankind was in the early stages of development. People, like animals, had to live by their wits and be very strong, smart, and lucky, or die.  Only the fittest survived the ordeals these people went through in their everyday life: hunting and gathering food, traveling in rough terrain, being attacked by “Others,” and surviving natural disasters.

Though the life rules were different, human nature, even then, was something we can relate to today. The emotions that ran through these people of long ago were much the same as what we feel now.

Xhosa, a strong female character leads her group on a long migration in search of a place where they can be safe and have enough food and shelter to survive. Some other smaller tribes join up with hers for safety, and each brings a new dynamic to the group. Ms. Murray is skilled at making you care about her characters, and before you know it, you will be hooked.

Without saying too much more about the plot, I just want to tell you that I was sorry the book ended, but overjoyed to find that there was a Book Two, called “The Quest for Home.”

I devoured that book as well and still wanted more!

Now, at last, Ms. Murray has Book Three ready for publication. I was lucky enough to have a sneak preview and I can tell you you’re in for a treat if you read these books. “Against All Odds” completes the three-book series.

In this final book, Xhosa’s extraordinary prehistoric saga concludes, filled with hardship, courage, survival, and family.

 

 

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for  NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, Winter 2021.

 Available digitally (print soon) at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU

You can find out more about Jacqui Murray by clicking the links below:

Amazon Author Page:        https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ/

Blog:                                       https://worddreams.wordpress.com

Instagram:                             https://www.instagram.com/jacquimurraywriter/

LinkedIn:                                http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

Pinterest:                                http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

Twitter:                                   http://twitter.com/worddreams

Website:                                 https://jacquimurray.net

For your entertainment, here is the book trailer for Book Three, “Against All Odds.”