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Category ArchiveWriting & Editing

When Profanity And Professionalism Don’t Mix

Say-WhatAbout a year ago, I read a list of criteria for a freelance writing job where one of the questions asked, “Are you an asshole?”

 It stopped me cold in my reading, and I found myself thinking, “What the … ?” (Feel free to add any word you like to fill in the blank.)

So—is this funny, or is it something else? Can the use of profanity and professionalism in a job application attract serious job seekers? I say, “No,” and “Just say ‘No’ to the mix.”

Here’s how one company blended the two.

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The Comma-Then Structure: Right or Wrong?

CommaComma-Then is not an actual grammar structure—not by name anyway. It’s a phrase titled for a pet peeve of author Jonathan Franzen.

In his blog post, “Comma-Then,” he describes a syntax pattern that he names the “comma-then” structure, suggests its use is incorrect, and offers three examples to illustrate his point.

1. She lit a Camel Light, then dragged deeply.

2. He dims the lamp and opens the window, then pulls the body inside.

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Zap Those Pesky Points of View into Shape and Write Like A Champ

consistencyWriter, David Lodge, in his book The Art of Fiction, said this about problems with inconsistent points of view used by writers in their work:

  • “One of the commonest signs of a lazy or inexperienced writer of fiction is inconsistency in handling point of view (POV).”

I don’t agree with the lazy part because I don’t think writers are lazy people. 

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Help Crush Your Fear of Writing with These Two Things

handswriteIf the fear of writing is getting you down, it’s time for some basic preparations that will crush this nasty nemesis and fortress your efforts.

How do you build your zone of protection?

You create these two habits that are consistently suggested by successful writers:

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Why Defining The Short Story Genre Makes Your Eyes Roll Back In Your Head

genreCan a short story be a short story if it’s a nonfiction piece? In short—no. In reality—it depends.

Short stories have traditionally been considered a fiction genre. They can be about anything as long as they are about one thing—and they’re short.

So, technically, if you identify your stories as nonfiction, and they follow a story line using elements of fiction, you have written creative nonfiction or short nonfiction, but not a short stories.

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