Monthly Archive: October 2010

Oct 29

Is your “Inner Novel” waiting for be written?

If you were looking for a “boost” to get that fiction novel written, here is your chance!

Since 1999, every November has been “NaNoWriMo” month around the world. “National Novel Writing Month” is an interactive and fun way to spend 30 days working on getting that novel out of your head and onto your favorite word processing program.

According to the NaNoWriMo website, participants begin writing on November 1 and work towards the goal of writing a 175-page original novel by midnight, November 30. The program is geared towards anyone who has even thought about writing a novel but has been hindered by thinking they didn’t have the time or that it would take too much effort.

Here are some additional FAQs:

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month’s time.

Who: You! We can’t do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let’s write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era’s most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.

When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

To find out more and to sign up, visit the How NaNoWriMo Works page!

Once your novel is written, you will of course need professional editing, formatting, and preparation for publishing! At Writing It Right For You, we work with authors who have finished manuscripts and are ready for the next steps. We can help you get your novel into, iBooks, or We also work with a professional book sherpa if your desire a more traditional publishing route. After NaNoWriMo, be sure to contact us and have your new novel ready for publishing in the new year!

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Oct 28


These tricky little devils can be the friend or foe of sentence structure.  There are essentially 3 basic rules when dealing with parentheses, so this post will be straight to the point.

Use to show words or figures that clarify or are used as visual aids or asides.

  • My assignment was to write a one thousand (1,000) word paper.

To use numbers or letters when listing items.

  • In my potential mate I’m looking for someone who is (1) thoughtful, (2) funny, (3) stylish and (4) a great listener.

When using parentheses, periods only go inside if a whole sentence is inside the parentheses.

  • It took quite awhile to get used to stairs again (he had broken his leg earlier this year.).

Hopefully now, errors in parentheses use will not escape your proofreading eye any longer.  Happy Writing!

If you need writing or editing assistance with the very confusing English language rules,

contact the professionals at Writing It Right For You.

We’re here to help because “It Matters How You Say It”!

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Oct 26

My Inbox Zero Adventure


In the middle of last week, I looked at my three email applications and realized that I had tens of thousands of emails. Some had been read; most had not. It didn’t matter: there were lots and lots and lots of them.

One of my goals is to rid my office of clutter; it is easier to work in an environment as free of chaos as possible. But how to eliminate all of those emails without deleting something potentially important?

First of all, I reminded myself that I was already in the habit of forwarding the majority of my relevant emails to two of my favorite apps: Evernote and Bantam Live Social CRM. When I looked at the bulk of those tens of thousands of emails, most of them were “informational” from all different sources. I decided that anything important was already in Evernote, Bantam Live, or my GCal and/or iCal.

So, I did it. I clicked a couple of buttons and deleted all of my emails. ALL OF THEM. Gone. In the trash. In their place was a lot of refreshing white space. I don’t even really need the Google “Priority Inbox” feature any more; there’s NOTHING in my inbox now–priority or otherwise.

In the days since my Inbox Zero purge, I have realized that keeping my inbox at “zero” also takes effort. I am working on developing a new habit: checking my emails only 2-3 times during my workday and acting on each email right then and there. Each email is read, labeled and filed, or read and forwarded, or read and answered, or read and deleted. I can keep my inbox clean with only 2 or 3 5-minute sessions per day.

Some of my dear readers may think: isn’t this a lot like the vaulted GTD (“Getting Things Done”) program by David Allen? Yes and no. It is true that one of the GTD tenets is a zero inbox, but personally I find the GTD program much too complicated and time-consuming. But I do like having a Zero Inbox.

One small step towards a more stress-free work environment.

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Oct 25

Gerunds and Pronouns

Editing and ProofreadingThis post will be full of technical BUT useful terminology; please bear with me.  Knowing the terms of language is fundamental when producing good written and reading material.  That being said, let’s go back to the classroom for a brief moment.

Gerund: A noun that demonstrates an uncompleted action.  Commonly they end with “-ing” and pronouns placed before them.

Pronoun: Words that are used to substitute nouns or noun phrases.

Golden Rule for identifying gerunds: if it is necessary for you to place a pronoun before an “-ing” word then try a possessive pronoun first.  If the “-ing” word is a noun that could be possessed, it’s likely that the word is a gerund.  As with the ‘Place or Replace’ rule, if it makes sense it’ll work.

“Years ago my registering to vote would be considered illegal.”

‘Registering’ is the gerund and ‘my’ is the possessive pronoun.

If you need writing or editing assistance with the very confusing English language rules, contact the professionals at Writing It Right For You. We’re here to help because “It Matters How You Say It”!

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Oct 21

Your vs You’re

Ah, yes those wonderful conjunction confusions.  Don’t you just love getting a little red mark on the paper you spent days working on, just because of a little conjunction misplacement?  *Insert sarcasm here* Now, let’s take a moment to release that anger.  Are we good? Ok, here’s the breakdown:

  • YOUR: Possessive; adjective.  Describes anything relating to you/yourself.
  • YOU’RE: Conjunction; adverb.  Joins “you are”.

This dilemma is a good place to remind you of the ‘place or replace’ rule.  If you are in the process of forming sentences and are unsure of which is the best choice, replace one for the other in the line and un-jumble the conjunction.  If the sentence makes sense, the right choice was made.  Example:

  • I’m you’re best friend and you’re mine. INCORRECT
  • Un-jumbled: I am you are best friend and you are mine.

Note: This sentence doesn’t make sense when the conjunctions are broken down.  One conjunction is in the wrong place, one isn’t.

  • I’m your best friend and you’re mine.  CORRECT

‘Place or replace’ is really one of a writer’s niftiest tricks!  I use it all the time.  Don’t be shy in using it with YOUR own work.

If you need writing or editing assistance with the very confusing English language rules, contact the professionals at Writing It Right For You. We’re here to help because “It Matters How You Say It”!

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