Seven Grammar Terms I’ve Definitely Forgotten

Written words and spoken words are two very different beasts, especially if you’re a historical adventure writer like I am. The trickiest bit has been figuring out how authentic I want to be with sentence structure, word choice and so on.

You’d think that, as a writer, I’d enjoy learning all the technical terms that come with the English language. Alas, I hated it. All throughout grade school I could never figure out why something needed a name to describe how a bit of language functions. Now, at nearly 34 years of age, I’m regretting not paying more attention.

So I decided to look a few of them up. While several make complete sense, others are clear as mud. Below are seven grammar terms I’ve definitely forgotten.

COLLECTIVE NOUN

Represents a group of people, animals or objects. Collective nouns are singular in form and take a singular verb when they refer to the group as a single unit. Common collective nouns include audiencegovernmentherd and public.

ELLIPTICAL CLAUSE

Is a grammatically incomplete clause because some key words have been omitted, usually to avoid repetition. Generally, the meaning can easily be understood from the context. For example, after reading that Jean has five dollars; Mary, three, most people will understand that Mary has three dollars, even though the words hasand dollars have been omitted from the elliptical clause. When an ellipsis is marked by a comma within the second clause, the clauses must be separated by a semicolon, as in the example given.

SUBJECT COMPLIMENT

Follows a linking verb (e.g.bebecomeseem) and completes the meaning of the subject by renaming it (e.g.supervisor in Janet is my supervisor) or describing it (e.g.tired in Jack seems tired). A subject complement may be a noun, a pronoun or an adjective.

LINKING VERB

Does not express an action. A linking verb connects the subject to its subject complement. The verbs be (e.g.My team leader is efficient), become (e.g.Julia became a doctor) and seem (e.g.The customer seems satisfied) are all examples of linking verbs. Verbs of sensing (lookfeelsmellsoundtaste) can also be used as linking verbs: e.g.This stew smells good.

GERUND

An –ing verb form that functions as a noun—e.g., Running is fun. Gerunds are identical to present participles, which usually function as adjectives.an –ing verb form that functions as a noun—e.g., Running is fun. Gerunds are identical to present participles, which usually function as adjectives.an –ing verb form that functions as a noun—e.g., Running is fun. Gerunds are identical to present participles, which usually function as adjectives.

ANTECEDENT

The noun or noun phrase to which a pronoun refers.the noun or noun phrase to which a pronoun refers.the noun or noun phrase to which a pronoun refers.

SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD

The mood of a verb when its clause, which is necessarily dependent, addresses conditions that are contrary to fact—e.g., If I were good at grammar, I’d be a better writer. 

So why is knowing these things useful? They represent the very basic building blocks for any writing project, big or small. I’m not an English major or an editor, so I won’t attempt to provide further explanations of these terms in conjunction with my own writing.

I think we can all agree that applying effective writing to the art of novel writing takes patience, time and learning.

Lots and lots of learning.

Now to look up what the words “subjunctive” and “elliptical” mean…

Sources: BTB Translation Bureau, Grammarist

The Bulletin | Newsletter Announcement

Naming things has always been a difficult task for me. If I’m ever blessed with children I suspect I’ll have difficulty naming them as well. So I decided to go with something classic and viola! The Bulletin is born.

“But, Leigh,” you say. “You’re not even published. How can we trust any advice from you?”

Fair point.

We all have our own unique writing journeys, met some very different people and still others who are far more experienced than us. That’s what I want The Bulletin to encompass; that ever expanding journey of learning this craft together.

So I’ll be on the hunt for volunteer contributors and guest…speakers? I know that’s not the right word but it’s the only thing coming to my mind right now.

The Bulletin aims to be a coalition of writers and others in the field. Sounds grandiose, doesn’t it? But I’m ready to take the bull by the horns and jump right in to this new adventure!

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in getting in your inbox once a month, feel free to sign up below! If you’d like to be a part of this social experiment, email me at anotherhartmanauthor @ gmail (dot) com.

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Books, Blogging, and Believing

About a month ago I changed up the banner on this website, switching it up from simply saying “Another Hartman Author” or my name, Leigh A. Hartman. I know websites, particularly authoring websites, are “supposed” to have the writer’s name highlighted.

However, I’ve always felt, for myself anyway, that having my full name be at the forefront of what everyone would see to be a bit vain. In high school I always preferred being behind-the-scenes. I was that kid on the lighting and tech crew for musicals and fall plays. I was that kid who put together presentations for school assemblies and one for a graduation that had a special bit for honoring alumni who went into the US Armed Forces.

When I began my writing journey the unease I felt at naming a website after myself was real. As such, “anotherhartmanauthor” was born. There are many artistic Hartmans in my family, and several of them are published authors themselves.

After blogging and writing since 2016, it was time to give this site a face lift, and that’s when the title of “Books, Blogging, Believing” came into being. Below I’ll discuss why I chose those three particular words to describe anotherhartmanauthor.com.

This one, I think, is the most obvious goal of this site. Whether it’s reviewing books, sharing lists of my favorite reads, or updating you on the progress of my own writing, this site was born out of my love of the written word. This includes both fiction and non-fiction.

Then 2019 came ’round and I decided that it was time to get the writing community involved and began the Five Question Interviews. There I was able to showcase them and their work, rather than making this site be all about me.

The Five Question Interviews will resume next year in 2020, beginning around the same time (March). Until then I’ll be concentrating on other projects like keeping up with my reading, novel writing, book reviews and the next topic of this post, blogging.

I’d like to think that my blogging style has changed since 2016. I look back through old posts and I’m tempted to delete several because they’re so cringe worthy. But I leave them up as a reminder to develop, develop, develop.

I see blogging as a chance to connect with you. To have a casual conversation about writing. I blog to share new things I’ve learned, or perhaps teach you something new. No one can have all the answers, and that’s what blogging is all about. Learning.

A couple of years ago I attempted a series called “Research It,” where I highlighted a choice topic for that week. While the few posts I put up were a lot of fun and great practice for discussing non-fiction, they were a LOT of work. I used to want to do one weekly but they got to be too time consuming. And I wasn’t writing my novel.

In the future I may revisit old concepts, such as Research It. But I still need to find a balance between blogging and actual writing.

I truly think that anyone can accomplish what they set out to do. If this site can encourage at least one person in their writing journey, then I’d say that’s a job well done.

And, while on the subject of believing, I’ve never really put my faith on the forefront here, but I am a Christian. There are certain topics I won’t touch upon, mostly because I know I’m not qualified at all to speak on them. I’ll also not be including certain language/curse words in my writing, even if it’s historically appropriate.

And here’s something I’ll promise you. I’ll never rail on what you believe, or write or etc. Respect is a two way street, and I hope you’ll accept me for who I am just as I’ll accept you for who you are. We may not always agree, but the writing community is a great place for bringing people together:

for the love of writing.

How To Have Fun Editing

One of my favorite lessons from grade school was when we learned the proof reading symbols for fixing our sentences. I love looking back through the process, marking things up, moving bits around (just like I’m doing now as I write this post). Yes, I’m that dork.

Others hate editing. They’d rather write and let others do that kind of grunt work. But I firmly believe that every author hopeful should know at least some basic copy editing skills. So here’s how you can have fun editing:

USE DIFFERENT PROOF READING SYMBOLS

There’s a spoof that many editors share in tongue-and-cheek posts about their profession, where the symbols highlight the levels of stress writers and editors go through. I laugh every time I see it.

They say that learning something new keeps creative juices flowing. My problem is I want to overuse these symbols, and it feels weird when a sentence is perfectly fine and doesn’t need anything changed.

I suppose that’s why I’m not a professional editor?

Editing is something I’m enjoying learning.

EXERCISE: Print off a page or two of your manuscript and purposefully grab a pen. It doesn’t have to be red ink; get yourself a fun color to work with and practice using some of these tools. You just may see something in print you normally wouldn’t on a screen.

EDIT A CHAPTER AT A TIME

I edit with pen and paper first. Then make the changes in my doc. Sure, it takes more time and printing off a full manuscript uses a lot of paper. Especially when it’s double spaced and semi-formatted for querying.

You don’t need to sit there, for hours on end, doing nothing but moving sentences and staring at your thesaurus. I’ve been there, done that. And I feel less accomplished than I did when I complete a manuscript.

Take a step back, work chapter by chapter, and take your time. Don’t rush the process. In turn, don’t expect an editor to have their edits of your work done in an unreasonable time frame. You may think that sending them constant reminders is helpful, but all it does is make them want to work on your MS less. (You may understand what I mean by that if you’ve worked in retail before).

I’m always surprised when I read threads online from folks who’ve never edited their work. How? No one’s perfect in their rhetoric. And fully relying on another individual to completely edit everything can cause your work to lose some of its voice.

Editors are fantastic creatures. You may disagree on the application of the Oxford comma, but many are passionate in helping their clients become published authors. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do edits yourself. It’s YOUR story, and a good editor will tell you that.

Remind yourself that
EVERY AUTHOR GOES THROUGH THIS PROCESS

You are not alone.

I’ve felt it many times during my writing journey, but that’s when I recognize that I need to tap the brake and step away from social media. Writing isn’t only about gaining an audience and making connections. That’s part of it, for sure. But there’s lots of conflicting messaging that comes along with it.

Find what works for you. You don’t need the latest writing program (heck, I write via Google Docs on a Chromebook. It doesn’t support fancy programs), an AuthorTube (YouTube channel) or an Instagram account to write. The amount of information that’s out there can, most definitely, be overwhelming to digest.

EXERCISE: Throw on your favorite tunes, grab an author friend or two and chat about something other than writing. You may be surprised what comes out of it!

I am sad that I’m no longer in the editing stage. In fact, I *should* be in the middle of a rewrite. A month of working night shifts hasn’t helped matters. Thankfully those finished last week, so now I can reset my writing goals.

That’s really the core of all this, right? Your writing goals. I know the above tips are truly easier said than done, but I hope they help in some way. This particular post was also a reminder for myself.

I know the three points in this post aren’t strictly how-to steps, but I hope they resonate. Good luck with your writing this week!

Music That Drives My Writing

Does your writing reflect what you listen to? Does it match your story’s tone, pace, and action? Or is it so far removed that your eclectic choices surprise your die hard readers?

While I do enjoy some bands like Faun, Loreena McKennitt and Enya, I mostly rock out to film scores, musical numbers and Korean pop music.

What do I write? Historical fiction set in Pennsylvania during the Victorian Era. That doesn’t match at all, does it? Here are five favorite songs I need to play at least once during a writing session. They get my fingers going and my blood pumping; I’ve caught myself dancing in my seat instead of writing but hey, sometimes you need that bit of joy to get you through a scene or a chapter. I digress.

Once again, here are five favorite songs I need to play at least once during a writing session.

NATIONAL TREASURE – END CREDITS

As plot-holey as the film is, National Treasure is a cult favorite. It’s score, composed by Trevor Rabin, enhances the sense of adventure in writing certain scenes. I love the whole score, but this bit is the best.

DRAGONHEART – MAIN THEME

I keep forgetting this film exists. Produced in the same era as Dungeons and Dragons, The Three Ninjas, The Rocketeer, The Phantom, A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (and many other film favorites of mine), this hopeful piece continues the theme of adventure.

BONUS TRACK – TO THE STARS by Randy Edelman

STAR TREK – 50th ANNIVERSARY FAN COMPILATION

This video is 40 minutes long and I hum along with the entire thing. It’s so well mixed that I don’t care it’s not in film/show release order. Even if you’re not a Trekkie, consider giving this a listen. May the hope Star Trek brings press you on to your publishing goals!

SABOTAGE by The Beastie Boys

I never would’ve fallen in love with this song if it hadn’t been included in Star Trek: Beyond. But the action sequence it’s associate with is awesome. Traditionalist Trekkies might be put off by the film (in how it purposefully deviates from the original timelines) but I like it for what it is. Sabotage starts of rather loud right out of the gate, so if you’re wearing earbuds, be careful!

IN THE AIR – Shinhwa

Okay, I think I’ve successfully managed to not over saturate this too many kpop referrals (but not my 90s references!), so this next one was incredibly difficult to narrow down. There’s just so much kpop awesome out there, and YouTube playlists barely scratch the surface. I’m really into Ateez, BTS, SHINee, Day6, Lay (from EXO), and many others. I could’ve chosen Mic Drop Remix by BTS ft Steve Aoki, or All Night by Girls’ Generation, or SOLO by Jennie. No. It has to be IN THE AIR by Kpop veterans SHINHWA.

I hope you enjoyed those tunes! They’ll always be some of my favorites, and maybe they’ll inspire you to try something new. Happy writing, editing, plotting, querying and living, #writingcommunity!

The Writer Tag | Take Two

The Writer Tag has been around for a long time. In fact, I already did one this February, which is why this is The Writer Tag Take Two. So I thought, on this day off of work, I’d revisit it and answer ten questions instead of twenty.

Do you socialize with other writers?

Mostly on Twitter. I can’t seem to work up the courage to get out there in person. I tried doing a Meetup group at a local library here in Pittsburgh but life got too crazy for various reasons. My introverted nature often kicks in and I’m much more comfortable being online behind the keyboard than in a room full of people. That won’t bode well for if I’m ever lucky enough to go on book tour, does it?

I also haven’t been able to get into “Authortubes.” Great discussion happens in the YouTube comment section, but I haven’t quite found that channel I’d instantly want to subscribe to. Sounds, uppity, I know. I’m quite a minimalist when it comes to that kind of thing.

Where do you see yourself in five year?

Hopefully published in some form or another. It doesn’t have to be in book form – though that is preferable. But if I’m able to get a story or two in a magazine while I continue work on my series, that’d be fantastic too. I also hope to still be blogging away on this site, and perhaps even collaborating with other writers on projects.

Do you use your writing for social advocacy?

Social advocacy is not my forte. While writing historical fiction can be seen as its own form of social…ness, I’m sure it doesn’t compare with those who write POC (people of color) or LGBTQ characters. Perhaps in the future, but I certainly don’t feel qualified enough to really dive deep into those genres without flubbing up on some point or two.

What genres do you write?

Historical fiction, more specifically Industrial Revolution and Victorian era Pennsylvania. However, I am dabbling in fantasy and science fiction as well. A wide variety, but it keeps things interesting!

How does travel affect your writing?

I wish I could travel more! I’ve been trying to plan a quick weekend trip out to one of the historical towns and stay in an AirBNB out there to write. But every time I change location, whether it’s a different table in my frequented library or going to another place entirely, I find I write a whole lot more. Travel gets the juices flowing, and travelling more for my novel writing is one of my writing resolutions for 2019.

Are you an organized person?

If I was asked this question a year ago I would’ve told you no. Absolutely not. But since diving into minimalism and getting rid of a ton of clutter, I can happily look at just my desk and be satisfied with what’s on it.

When it comes to organization while writing, I need order there too. I need an outline, or, at the very least, a small pile of notes to keep my thoughts in order. I’m not so extra that I have everything labeled. Life needs balance. Writing needs balance.

Are you published?

Short answer: No.
Long answer: I wish!

Have you ever thought about script writing?

For a time I did. When I was in college I even started a script called “The Queen of Hearts.” It was to be a retelling of ALICE IN WONDERLAND from the Queen’s perspective. Then, as life would have it, I never revisited it. I kind of wish I could find it again, but more than likely it’s long since deleted in one of my media purges. I still have the script writing textbook from college. One day, Queenie. One day…

Who’s your favorite character that you’ve created?

Edgar Kane. Ugh…just saying his NAME gives me feels! …I think I’m weird.

Do you need complete silence when you write?

It really depends on the day. If I’ve had a stressful, LOUD, crazy day at work, then I’ll opt for quieter music or no music at all. If it’s a day off, then something like Sabotage by the Beastie Boys gets me on the right track! (You may want to turn your volume down at first before blasting it!)

Well, that’s it! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading more about my hopes and goals in this Writer Tag. Do you like these kinds of posts? Are they far too common or would you like to see something different on this site? Drop a comment below and let me know what you think, or just to say hello!

Punctuation I Never Knew Had Names

Semicolon. Colon. Dash. Period. Question mark. Those are the common ones, right? They’re the ones tech companies put on our QWERTY keyboards because everyone uses them. But did you know that everything has a name? Like , *, and § ? I wasn’t sure how to section off that last bit with all the punctuation!

Below is a list of punctuation I never knew had actual names. A couple of them are common, but they didn’t always function the way they do now. Let’s begin!

These days you see a lot of folks using interpuncts to separate single words or short statements on social media accounts. What’s its actual purpose? Aside from the fact that it has several other names like interpoint, middot and centered dot, it’s used as a decimal point is in math. Example, in British currency, £3050. Perhaps to differentiate it from an actual period? It’s also used to help phonetically separate words into their syllables. I.e. – ex·am·pled. Phonetics is a whole other discussion for another day!

source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpunct

We’ve all heard of an asterisk. Did you know there’s also the “asterism?” (I really, truly hope that I’m using punctuation correctly in this blog post!)

The most common use of the asterism is between paragraphs in a book, indicating that a certain amount of time has passed. Many designers or self publishing authors design their own versions of the asterism to fit with other elements in their book.

source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asterism_(typography)

One of my earliest schooling memories is having way too much fun writing this symbol all over my homework. Yes, I’m that kid. It’s most commonly referred to as the “paragraph mark,” and is sometimes called the “section sign” and is written like this: §.

Long paragraphs are one of my writing quirks. I love a good paragraph. I suppose I get that from loving works like The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables and The Little Princess. The pilcrow mark is always, always in my mind during writing sessions!

source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilcrow

< and > are the more common forms of the guillemet, especially if you’re used to seeing CSS coding for HTML formatting. Did I just speak another language there? Perhaps, and it’s a great lead in to what it actually means – when you see the double guillemet, it sometimes means that they’re used to indicate language translation.

source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillemet

Finally, there’s an interesting bit of history here with the obelus. Commonly referred to as the division sign in mathematics, editors in ancient times used to mark passages of suspicious nature in ancient manuscripts with it. You mean, it was once an editing tool? You betcha!

source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obelus


There you have it! The interpunct, the asterism, the pilcrow, the guillemet and the obelus. Five punctuations I didn’t know had actual names. Their uses will change again in time, but for now, I’ll go use some pilcrows!

All The Tropes I Want to Use But Won’t

When I first looked up writing tips, the word “trope” popped up everywhere – on YouTube, on Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest. Enter in a whole new world of terms to sift through. Let’s begin discussing tropes.

To be unequivocally cliche here, Webster’s Dictionary defines a TROPE as: “a word or expression used in a figurative sense,” and “a common or overused theme or device.”

Storytelling is an art form that’s been around for centuries. Ever open a new book, get four chapters in, and wonder why it seemed familiar? Every genre has its own kind of formula and character traits to go with them – the love triangle in a Rom Com, the wizard who uses a wand to aid him in his spell casting, faeries who are based off Disney’s Tinkerbell from Neverland.

Are they completely untouchable?

What if the author wants to use them in some form or another? Since putting my #histfict series on hold to get this fantasy concept out, I’ve been revisiting the following tropes.

Different genre, different tropes, right?

Here are five tropes I really want to use but won’t

“Girls who disguise themselves as boys in order to adventure” via silverblade.net

“The main character’s parents die in an accident/in war/murdered” via HobbyLark

“The races/species are uniform” via Fantasy-Faction

“Characters with no experience are better than the experts” via mythcreants

“Going back to their small town to get away from something/rekindling old romances” via The Writing Cooperative

Pick a trope typically used in a genre completely different from what you write and rework it to fit your own genre.

An ever constant challenge: creating a story that isn’t completely trope-y!

Back to the Basics

Many months ago I bought books. Lots of books. So many books that I’ve forgotten which ones I’ve read. That’s just my poor memory kicking in.

During my book buying binge, (say that five times fast), I picked up a few grammar ones as well, including this one by Pamela Rice Hahn. The title does confuse me; I think it’s part of a series, but I bought it because you shouldn’t “judge a book by its cover,” right?

Three chapters in and so much is already highlighted. So below are ten tips a writer at any stage in their journey would find helpful.

“Providing yourself with a map – whether it be a rigid formal outline or an informal listing of known purposes for the communication – actually frees your mind to get to work on deciding how best to complete the task.”

This directly correlates with that “pantser” vs “plotter” trend going around Twitter. “Pantsers” write and weave their stories as they write. “Plotters” prefer to adhere to a guide like an outline, chart, or whatever method works for them. The book doesn’t use this terminology, but it does encourage sticking with what works for you. Me? I’m definitely a “plotter.”

“Style is something that is peculiar to each individual writer. […] As you develop your writing style, it will turn into your personal ‘voice.'”

During the beta reading process for my MS, one of the first compliments I received was, “Girl, you’ve got VOICE.” Um, what? Even when someone attempted explaining it to me, it never made sense until I read the section on it. I had a complete light bulb moment:

When I first started writing I tried too hard to emulate writers of the era my novel is set in, and I tried emulating my favorite authors. No. Don’t do that! Readers will recognize the attempt and they’ll want to read your book for the story YOU want to tell them, not what’s already been written.

“Stick to traditional punctuation styles and grammar usage.”

What may have worked in novels a decade ago may not work now. Or in the 50’s, 20’s, etc. This is a tricky one for me because my novel series spans a thirty year time frame. Even though I’m not aiming for true historical accuracy (inspired by real events and people with adventure mixed in), I was trying too hard to use every bit of research I dug up to “sound smart” and write how they would. Nobody speaks like that anymore. We can be enchanted by it, and the notion, but who really talks like Jane Eyre?

Nobody but Jane Eyre.

“Writing isn’t about making things sound pretty.”

*insert that Star Wars clip of Admiral Akbar saying, “It’s a trap!”* Oh this is such a tough one for me! Early on I found myself trying to avoid modern phrases by over explaining or spending hours on thesaurus.com. No.

I need to build my vocabulary up the normal way, by actually writing the words and then reworking sentences later on during the editing phase. I’m a sucker for description. Several of my early childhood book favorites include lots of description.

This leads to the next point:

“The consensus for most fiction is that you ‘start with the action.'”

This is quite hard for me as well. I want to spend time IN the scene itself. I want to see, taste, feel, experience as much as possible within a location before the action starts. I know they say that you’re telling yourself the story with the first draft. But I want to take readers on the whole journey. Maybe in some future edition? I don’t know. It’s VERY hard for me to start with action, which is probably why I didn’t start my writing journey with science fiction!

“An effective opening is one that engages the reader from the git-go.”

Opening lines. They define a writer just as much as the rest of the story does, don’t they? I used to harp on this and I still do to a certain degree. “This will be the first line anyone ever reads!” “What if they hate it? Or find it too cliche?”

As with anything else I’ve written, the perfect words don’t come straight away. In fact, my novella, For One Night at the Winter Garden, is in a current state of disarray. Also known as a rewrite. It’s even more intimidating now than when it first began.

Is it “get-go” or “git-go?” I suppose it depends on where you’re from.

This is just me, nitpicking word choices!

“Remember to stop where the story ends. […] As long as the major points of the story are wrapped up, you can leave some things unsaid.”

Think back to all the endings The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King had. One would fade to black and a millisecond later we’re wrapping up someone else’s story. I remember many high school classmates express their annoyance with it. I have, ahem, a few cousins who enjoy analyzing and critiquing films. While I appreciated the time the LOTR took to try and satisfy everyone with this method, I can see how some Tolkien fans felt it was just too much.

Ending stories has always been a problem of mine, and one I can’t seem to grasp. Yet. One day, this series of mine will be completed! One day…

“Using correct grammar not only conveys a precise meaning, it also gives readers confidence that you know what you’re talking about.”

English Prep was the worst class for me in high school. I hated how EVERYthing in the English language had a secondary name attached to it – metaphor, homonym, onomatopoeia – and didn’t excel when it came to those multiple choice questions on tests. I just wanted to write.

Some number of years later I’m wishing I’d paid better attention to it. My mom’s the dork who absolutely LOVED diagramming sentences. (Do they even teach that technique anymore?) And I “let” her just take over on that. Yes, I was THAT student. Sometimes I wish I could repeat high school for the sole purpose of diving back into English grammar.

If I don’t have confidence in my own skill set, how can my potential readers have confidence in my authorship qualifications?

“Overuse of adverbs can detract from your message, causing the reader to get hung up on words instead of the point you’re trying to make.”

I feel that this doesn’t apply only to adverbs. You know that technique where the author uses three words in a row, each starting with a consecutive letter in the alphabet, to drive a point? The “a_________, b_________, c__________” kind of thing?

Overusing technique to drive points home can be a trap all on its own. I need to learn to use these sparingly, if at all. Maybe in a first draft, but work them out in later versions. Unless they actually work, of course!

No matter where you are in your writing journey, I hope you found these tips helpful. Granted, they weren’t all grammar-based, but sometimes we just need little reminders. They most certainly were for me! Thanks for stopping by today’s blog post and I hope you have a fantastic day, wherever you are!

A #HistFic Hiatus

A short time ago I put up a blog post updating readers of this site on my progress. Rather, lack thereof. Through a Twitter conversation and a rather sleepless night in the late hours of the evening yesterday, things will be changing here at anotherhartmanauthor.com.

While I am experiencing some trepidation with the thought of purposefully putting down the pen, I do feel that, in the long haul, this writing hiatus will be for the better. I hope to:

Gain a sense of direction with this blog.
READ ACTUAL BOOKS.
Up my grammar game.
Focus on mental health, self care, and pay off those
hospital bills from my surgery in January.

Real life stress took over about a month ago. That’s when I realized I could barely write Part Two for my web series. I kept trying to start it – I have five different openings on scraps of paper around here somewhere – but nothing seemed right.

For at least a month, I’ll be focusing on other things. Formulating a game plan. Working on believing in myself.

In conclusion, I’m not all together disappearing from the writing community (not that I’m a big player in it whatsoever). You may even see some new things pop up on this website or my Twitter. And for that I’m very excited! I will be, of course, finishing up The Five Question Interview series. Look for the posts every Wednesday!

And perhaps, after that, I can start formulating a secret project I’ve been sitting on for months.

Happy writing, #writingcommunity! I WILL be back!
Because no one else can write the stories stuck in my head!


Okay, so my zero writing hiatus didn’t last very long! So I’m changing the title of this to be A #HistFic Hiatus. That series is so structured, with a ton of elements coming. I’m still just as excited about it as I was when I first started working on it.

But last night I started writing…a fantasy novel? What? Where did that come from?

I’ve had so many stories outside my “chosen” genre that I wanted to write as well that I’ve put just The Firedamp Chronicles on hiatus.

Now I have Project Chronicles and Project Kelan. I’m totally tempted to turn this into a contest to see which one I can complete first. With the Chronicles, I’m a total “plotter.” With Kelan I’m using the “pantser” methodology.

Pray for my soul!