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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Writer Advises This Book as Brushup for Writers

Title: Punctuation
Author: G. Miki Hayden
Link: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Punctuation+by+G.+Miki+Hayden
Non-fiction ebook on writing

Reviewed by Joy V. Smith originally for her writing blog
Reviewer's link: http://pagadan.wordpress.com/

Reviewer's rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Writers need this book!

 As a writer, I take advantage of opportunities to refresh my knowledge of the basic rules of writing. Even though I’m an English major, I’m occasionally unsure of whether to use a comma or a semi-colon, etc., so I was grateful for the opportunity to read Punctuation by G. Miki Hayden. Btw, look carefully at the punctuation mark on the cover. It is not what you think. At least, it wasn’t what I thought. I confess I just glanced at it and thought I knew what it was. I was surprised to learn that I was wrong–and what it means.
The rules of punctuation are to make it easy for the reader. You don’t want to trip him up and stop his enjoyment of your story, because writing isn’t just words; it’s about how to emphasize them. I appreciated not only the easy-to-understand rules, but also the examples, which help you to understand them. I’m less fuzzy now about which punctuation marks go inside the double quotes and which don’t, among other things. And I won’t be puzzled when reading a book published in England.
Learning that you don’t need to use italics when writing thoughts was a relief. And I learned only recently that we probably don’t need to underline words to be printed in italics, and we now only put one space at the end of a sentence. That is a hard habit to break! (And you’ll notice that I’ve only used one exclamation mark so far. I tend to overuse them, along with parentheses.) Be sure to study the section on apostrophes, please.
The ellipsis explanation really helped me, and the serial comma explanation made me feel better. (I had never given up the last serial comma, btw.) A number of things were clarified for me, including what to use inside a parenthesis (brackets); I’ve been using more parentheses. And there are quizzes at the end, if you want to test yourself. This was an easy and enjoyable read, and the author was firm, but not dogmatic. Highly recommended for those who write, whether it’s fiction or reports or a blog. And it was a fun read.

Joy
My writing blog
http://pagadan.wordpress.com/
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The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor. As a courtesy to the author, please tweet and retweet this post using this little green retweet widget :

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