Language Arts

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Creating Grammatically Correct Bulleted Lists

How did we live without presentation slides and bulleted lists? They're everywhere, but their grammar may be confusing. Follow this guide to keep your bulleted lists looking good: [more…]

English Grammar Workbook For Dummies

Writing proper English — and deciding how proper you want to be in a given situation — isn't as easy as they make it look on TV, but it's not brain surgery either. Check out these tips on punctuation, [more…]

How to Start the Play You're Writing

The opening of your play needs to grab the audience; otherwise the battle is lost before it begins. Following are some of the elements of a strong start: [more…]

Scriptwriting: How to End Your Play

One of your responsibilities as playwright is to deliver a satisfying end to the play. You don’t necessarily have to write a happy ending or even an ending audiences would have wanted. You need an ending [more…]

Speaking Like a Playwright

When you’re ready to develop your idea for a play, you need to express it in terms that other playwrights and theatre people understand. Here are some of the more common playwriting terms: [more…]

Putting Lifelike Characters on Stage

The characters in your play must be fully developed, as close to real people as you can make them. The keys to creating believable characters are details [more…]

Making Character Dialogue Sound Natural

Dialogue is the primary and most important component in playwriting. The principal purpose of dialogue is to advance the action of the play. Though dialogue sounds like natural conversation, every word [more…]

Playwriting For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Playwriting is an exciting and accessible performing arts scriptwriting discipline. Anyone can write a play, round up some friends as actors, and gather an audience to present original theatre at its most [more…]

Evaluating Character and Plot in Young Adult Fiction

As you write your manuscript for young adult fiction, edit your work by evaluating characters and plot. Self-editing lets you address story issues even before you ask someone to read your young adult novel [more…]

Young Adult Fiction Categories and Age Ranges

The two categories of young adult literature — young adult (YA or "teen fiction") and middle grade ("MG fiction") — are split into several age ranges to help book buyers and readers judge the age-appropriateness [more…]

Writing Young Adult Fiction: Creating a Youthful Narrative Voice

Narrative voice — what your narrator says and how he says it — is a defining feature of young adult fiction. Here are five ways to make your narrative voice teen-friendly, whether your narrator is your [more…]

Creating Teen Dialogue when Writing Young Adult Fiction

Writing dialogue that sounds like it spilled from the lips of teens makes your young adult fiction novel more believable to your audience. Use these five tips to defy your age and write dialogue that's [more…]

Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The elements of storytelling are the same for young adult fiction and adult fiction, but writers of young adult fiction must come at those elements with a wholly different mindset. After all, this category [more…]

5 Tips for Punctuating with Quotation Marks

Using quotation marks properly can flummox some writers, especially when there's a lot of other punctuation next to the quotation marks. The rules governing the placement of quotation marks around punctuation [more…]

Submitting Your Work of Fiction

The page you are looking for was recently moved. Don't worry, it's still here; it just has a new address: [more…]

The Major Steps in the Self-Publishing Process

If you have a great idea for a book and good writing skills, you can have a book professionally published and made available to the general public. The process is called self-publishing and it’s an involved [more…]

Hiring Freelancers for Your Self-Publishing Project

You may not have the time or knowledge to cover all aspects of self-publishing a book, so interviewing and hiring a freelancer is a great option for ensuring that each step of the self-publishing process [more…]

Self-Publishing For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Turning a great idea into a book through self-publishing is an ambitious project, so be sure to understand the principal steps involved in the process. If you need help with certain aspects of self-publishing [more…]

Looking at Rhythm and Meter in Poetry

Rhythm is the pattern of stresses in a line of verse. When you speak, you stress some syllables and leave others unstressed. When you string a lot of words together, you start seeing patterns. Rhythm is [more…]

Part of the Series: Poetry: 5 Tips for Writing Poems

Writing a Sonnet

Learn to write a sonnet in iambic pentameter, just like Shakespeare did. Discover the rhythm and rhyme scheme of the quatrains and couplets that make up a Shakespearean sonnet. [more…]

Part of the Series: Poetry: 5 Tips for Writing Poems

Ballads — a Traditional Form of Poetry

The ballad is a traditional form of poetry that conveys romantic or even lurid stories. Ballads are narrative poems with roots in the thirteenth century. They are still are being written today, especially [more…]

Part of the Series: Poetry: 5 Tips for Writing Poems

Traditional Forms of Poetry: Tankas and Haiku

The Japanese tanka is a verse form from classical Japanese poetry. Even older than its better-known poetic cousin the haiku, the tanka is a quiet, meditative form that focuses on the natural world and [more…]

Part of the Series: Poetry: 5 Tips for Writing Poems

Writing Poetry

Millions of people have tried their hands at writing poetry. Often, people turn to writing verse at times of great emotion, insight, or need. A single article cannot tell you everything you need to know [more…]

Part of the Series: Poetry: 5 Tips for Writing Poems

Age Levels for Children's Books

If you're writing a children's book, it pays to be familiar with how publishers classify them. Publishers generally assign age groups for readers of various formats as set out in the following list: [more…]

Tips for Editing Your Children's Book

At some point after you have a solid draft of the children's book you're writing, you must begin the editing process. Here's a quick overview of the salient points to keep in mind. [more…]

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