One Space or Two Spaces After the Period at the End of the Sentence?

book

I decided to do a little research about that pesky question of whether to use one or two spaces after the period at the end of a sentence. As a lifelong proponent of the two spaces camp, I now grudgingly yield to the 21st century and advances in typography to move to using only one space after the period.

Every major style guide–including the “bibles” of the Modern Language Association Style Manual and the Chicago Manual of Style–prescribes a single space after a period. The two-space rule began during the age of typewriters, when the spacing of letters was not proportional (as it is now) and using two spaces at the end of a sentence made documents more readable. The only computer font that is not proportional is Courier, which we do not use. (I don’t think anyone uses it anymore.)

According to an article in Slate (http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2011/01/space_invaders.html) which addressed this very issue, “because we’ve all switched to modern fonts, adding two spaces after a period no longer enhances readability, typographers say. It diminishes it.” This same point was made by every major source that I researched.

So, I am waving the white flag of surrender in my ancient, Tyrannosaurus Rex hands to say that I think the switch to one space is the better and updated rule to follow.

I feel I can adapt to change okay, however, if you find yourself having great difficulty in making this transition, I saw the following suggestion in the online version of the Chicago Manual of Style: once the document is finished, use the Find and Replace feature to eliminate all double spaces. In the “Find” box, type two spaces, and in the “Replace With” box, type one space. Hit “Replace All” and you’re done.

R. Lynn Archie

www.rlynnarchie.com

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Suggestions on How to Get Out of a Writing Rut

note pad

Has there ever been a time when you wanted to get essential thoughts down on paper but just could not get yourself moving to do so? Whether you are a writer, student, or simply someone wanting to inscribe a thank you note, it can happen. The magic question is what can be done to get out of the rut?

Helpful Suggestions

Think about what you are trying to write about in the first place. Start by focusing on the task at hand and then begin mentally de-cluttering your mind of everything else.

Put your thoughts down on something tangible like paper or a computer. If you are anything like me, as soon as a great inspiration pops into my head I have to immediately write it down. When you have a busy schedule, it’s very easy to forget things.  With this method, you then have the option to go back to your notes later on. It’s a helpful way to kick-start your creative juices to get it flowing again.

Select a means to push your productivity. This can be a special room, a selective piece of furniture like a bed or chair, a special music playlist, or even something straightforward as a change of scenery like sitting in the park or going to a coffee shop. Whatever you decide to do it should be something that is refreshing, and will give you the ability to concentrate.
All it takes is the decision to get started, and as long as you stay motivated and passionate you have the foundation to work through getting out of a rut.

 

R. Lynn Archie

Website:  www.rlynnarchie.com

15 Grammar Goofs

In visiting Copyblogger.com, I came across the article about 15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly. It’s a list of words that seem relatively easy, but can cause confusion if used the wrong way. Unfortunately, even I am guilty of making a few of these blunders at one time or another. However, since I am all about sharing information, I’m passing it along to you, complements of Copyblogger.com.

I hope that it will be a helpful reference guide.

R. Lynn

 

 

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly
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Using Points of View (POV) in Your Writing

POINTS OF VIEW

When I first began writing, I wasn’t aware that stories were written in points of view. So, what is a point of view? Simply put, it’s a way that writers allow readers to see and hear what’s going on. Point of view in books will contain detail, opinion, or emotion the author wants to accentuate; therefore, a point of view catches the attention of the reader.

The Three Major Kinds of POV

First-person point of view involves the use of either of the two pronouns “I” and “we”. The advantage of this point of view is that you get to hear the thoughts of the narrator, and see the world depicted in the story through his or her eyes. A good novel selection would be Twilight by Stephanie Meyers. The main female character Bella Swan is the narrator; we see things from her point of view.

  • (Example) “I loved Phoenix. I loved the sun and the blistering heat. I loved the vigorous, sprawling city.”

Second-person point of view, the narrator tells the story to another character using “you” and “your”. This is the least used POV. You will see this used more in literature such as a cook book. Although a perfect selection of a novel used this way would be Jay McInerney’s, Bright Lights, Big City.

  • (Example) “You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning. But here you are, and you cannot say that the terrain is entirely unfamiliar, although the details are fuzzy.”

Third-person point of view is the most popular of the three and uses pronouns like “he”, “she”, “it”, “they” or a name. The narrator isn’t present as a character. The writer may choose third-person omniscient in which the thoughts of every character are open to the reader, or third-person limited, in which the reader enters only one character’s mind, either throughout the entire work or in a specific section. A good third person POV book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

Examples:

  • When Jane and Elizabeth were alone, the former, who had been cautious in her praise of Mr. Bingley before, expressed to her sister how very much she admired him.
  • “He is just what a young man ought to be,” said she, “sensible, good humoured, lively; and I never saw such happy manners!”

My preference is third person point of view because it’s what I feel the most comfortable with, and it allows me complete freedom in telling my story. I would like to hear from you. Tell me, what point of view you use in your writing?

 

R. Lynn

 

KDP: Updates Regarding Series Books

 

 

Kindle Direct Publishing

 

Recently, I contacted Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) inquiring about series books, and there was a discussion about some new things happening soon that I thought I would share.

KDP is making updates to the way series books get listed on Amazon.com. Series books are books with multiple volumes whether they’re each complete books, or individual sections of a longer book. In making these books easier for customers to find, in mid-May they are updating how they organize them in the Kindle Store.

The detail pages will now display the title for series books as Title: Subtitle (Series Title Book Volume). KDP states these changes will help make sure that customers can find all of your books easily.

Here’s how KDP instructed series information should be used:

Series Title: Your Series Title in KDP should be the name of the series. By ensuring that all books in a series have the same value for Series Title, you will improve the discoverability of your books.

Volume: Enter only a numerical value (e.g. 1, 2, 3; not “Book 5” or “Book V”)

For example, if the name of your books is The World and is the second book within your Science Facts book series, your information would be as follows:
Book title: The World
Series title: Science Facts
Volume: 2

The title for this book will show up as The World (Science Facts Book 2). I hope this is information is helpful.

R. Lynn Archie

Mind Mapping Can Be a Useful Tool

New Picture

Plain and simple, a mind map is a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps with structuring your information and makes it easier for you to analyze, understand, remember, recall and create new ideas.

Mind Mapping can be created by hand or software.  Some software is free and there are others that need to be purchased.  In addition, and because it’s not noted in the linked article, if you know how to use Microsoft Office Excel, it’s another good substitution for creating mind maps.

Whichever way you decide, it all starts out with a starting point to which you write down the main idea that you want to develop. From there, you are going to expand by building supporting subtopics, and as you do so, you connect each of them with a line back to the main idea.

The subtopic step will be repeated so that you can make as many lower layers as needed to support your main idea. Just remember that for each new lower level, it needs to be connected to the top corresponding subtopic.  See diagrams below.

 rectangle

I think mind mapping is a great diagram to follow because you can always go back and reference it when you’re stuck or forget something.  Give it a try; it might be a helpful tool for you.

Thanks for visiting,

R. Lynn Archie

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Mistakes New Authors Make

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I was surfing the web and stumbled upon a useful article by author Judy Cullins called 5 Non-Fiction Book Writing Mistakes and Solution.

The first thing that caught my attention was the sentence “the biggest mistake emerging authors make is that they ‘tell’ rather than ‘engage’ their readers. Yes, I have to admit that I am guilty of that when it comes to writing the first draft of my novels. As much as I would love to say that everything I write starts out correctly, I cannot. (Going off subject for a moment, even a word as simple as cannot is confusing for some folks. Sorry, but I had to throw that in real quick). Now back to what I was discussing.

Another strong point that a new author should know is passive sentences should be avoided like the plague because it slows the story down to the pace of a turtle. The last thing you want is to bore the reader to tears. Keep in mind that a happy reader will return, so you want your stories to hold their attention. Also, the use of pompous language and phrases are unnecessary. My opinion has always been “simple is best”, and that’s just the guidance given in the article by Judy.

And, saving the best for last is “authors should aim at 10th grade level writing because it makes for easier reading to their buyers. This one I had not heard of before; although, I have to admit that I’ve read a few things that have stated the wording should be aimed at a higher, impressive level. Nevertheless, I have always followed the 10th grade writing level. So to sum things up, the article provides many helpful tips and practical examples for new authors to reference.

Enjoy your weekend,

R. Lynn

Website:  www.rlynnarchie.com