Category Archives: Technicalities

Technical Excellence: Why You Should Use Styles While Writing

You know what styles are, right? Headers, lists, italics, bold… Those kinds of things. Do you use them? Do you use them correctly?

At this point, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with story. Well, I’ve decided to talk about technical excellence every now and then, and I think you’d be wise to read this post. No, styles are not as exciting as actually writing your story, but they have a big role to play in your professionalism and time spent preparing your story for publishing.

‘Cause you want to publish, right? Good.

Let’s clear up one thing to start with: Styles are not simply italicizing or bolding text. That’s a text style, not a real style. I know, it’s not all that nice of the word processing people to make it simple to hit a keystroke and apply styles the wrong way, but that’s how it is. We’ll have to deal with it.

Okay, so what’s the right way? And why is it the right way? Let’s answer the second question first. You want to use paragraph styles for a few reasons. Continue reading Technical Excellence: Why You Should Use Styles While Writing

What a Fictional Cat Taught Me About Punctuation

I don’t know if any of you have read the book Pinky Pye. It’s a cute little story by Eleanor Estes, which concerns the Pye family’s adopted kitten Pinky, who happens to have a unique talent: she can typewrite.

Throughout the book, Estes treats us to hilarious passages from Pinky’s typewriting. These are all essays on how to do cat things, such as playing games with humans. But what’s most delightful to me is what Pinky taught me about punctuation.

You see, being a cat, Pinky doesn’t have the most conventional ideas of grammar. She prefers the dollar sign ($) to the exclamation point (!) because she thinks it’s prettier. She lets Mr. Pye put in the commas. And she’s fond of writing sentences that consist of a single word. This inspired me to take a closer look at my own use of punctuation. Continue reading What a Fictional Cat Taught Me About Punctuation