Is it really Friday again? That’s funny considering I thought it was Wednesday yesterday. Seriously. I’ve been living in the edit cave for over a week now. That said, my dear friend Ms. Cameron has agreed to provide some useful and humorous insight for we writers. And we’ll check out her new release (September) and (do I use “and” here or “then” Collette?) cover. Here we go…
Collette has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. She’s been married for thirty years, has three amazing adult children, and five dachshunds. Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, the beach, trivia, birds, shabby chic, and Cadbury Chocolate. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.
The stuff to make us better writers…
For this post I was originally aiming for something that would cause writers to have that, “Aha,” moment. Well, that isn’t happening. Why? ‘Cause I keep seeing the same boo boos in manuscripts, books, critiques, and yes … *gasp* even blog posts.
So, is everybody ready to find out what they are? Good. Here we go.
Critique #1: Comma splices and run on sentences.
When you have two independent clauses, you cannot simply connect them—even with a conjunction or our little friend, the comma.
No, you cannot.
Comma splice: Collette loves Cadbury Chocolate, milk chocolate is her favorite kind.
See, two sentences connected by a comma. I can’t just take out the comma because, then I have a run on sentence.
You have to add ‘and,’ make them two separate sentences, or combine /rewrite in order for them to be correct. Or, shh, use a semicolon.
- Collette loves Cadbury Chocolate, and milk chocolate is her favorite kind.
- Collette loves Cadbury Chocolate. Milk Chocolate is her favorite kind.
- Collette’s favorite chocolate is Cadbury Milk Chocolate.
- Collette loves Cadbury Chocolate; milk chocolate is her favorite kind
Okay, so maybe you don’t make that mistake, but I bet you have a run on sentence or two in your work, ‘cause I haven’t read a single thing this summer that hasn’t had some.
ROS Example: Collette loves Cadbury Chocolate and milk chocolate is her favorite kind.
Remember what we did above. Go ahead. Look back. It’s okay.
You need to add that darling comma, make it two separate sentences, or rewrite the two sentences, making them into one.
What’s wrong with this sentence? Collette bought a box of chocolate and drove home to eat it.
Hey, don’t judge my chocolate addiction!
Picture me buying the chocolate. Now picture me driving home. Can I really do both at the same time? Nope. I can do one, then the other.
- After buying a box of chocolate, Collette drove home.
- Collette drove home after buying a box of chocolate.
- Collette bought a box of chocolate, then drove home.
- Collette bought a box of chocolate before driving home.
I’ve read all kinds of amazing, interesting, physically impossible, and downright weird things characters do all at once.
And that’s a perfect segue into my last cranky.
Critique # 3: Using ‘eyes’ instead of ‘gaze.’
What’s wrong with that you ask? Do read on.
Collette’s eyes darted from one piece of chocolate to the other.
The authors laughed as Collette’s hungry eyes gobbled the chocolate.
Let’s picture my eyes literally darting around or gobbling chocolate. They can’t, but my gaze can. I’ve read eyeballs committing outstanding feats. Actually, sometimes it’s kind of gross— and frightening.
Gosh, I feel so much better. I really needed to get that off my chest.
Ta ta, I’m off to enjoy some Cadbury.
Now for the really exciting part, Collette’s newest project, The Viscount’s Vow, releases September 4, 2013… Here’s the elegant cover.
And the blurb…
Half Romani, half English noblewoman, Evangeline Caruthers is the last woman in England Ian Hamilton, the Viscount Warrick, could ever love—an immoral wanton responsible for his brother’s and father’s deaths. She thinks he’s a foul-tempered blackguard, who after setting out to cause her downfall, finds himself forced to marry her—snared in the trap of his own making.
When Vangie learns the marriage ceremony itself may have been a ruse, she flees to her gypsy relatives, declaring herself divorced from Ian under Romani law. He pursues her to the gypsy encampment, and when the handsome gypsy king offers to take Ian’s place in Vangie’s bed, jealousy stirs hot and dangerous.
At last, under a balmy starlit sky, Ian and Vangie breech the chasm separating them. Peril lurks though. Ian’s the last in his line, and his stepmother intends to dispose of the newlyweds so her daughter can inherit his estate. Only by trusting each other can they overcome scandal and murderous betrayal.
Where to find out more about Ms. Cameron…
Facebook Fan Page:
Thanks for making us smile today Collette.