Multiple Adjectives, Single Nouns

Social Media has made the next generation lazy and grammatically lacking. We’ve all seen them, the authors/writers sitting high on their pedestals, looking down on the masses while they shake their heads and lament how far downhill the English language has rolled.

Unfortunately, authors/writers are often the most detrimental to the English language. In my grammar series I hope to help you all become a little more familiar with your chosen profession or hobby.

Now, some rules in the written language can be broken, especially when it comes to writing dialogue. However, there are a few that cannot be broken or even bent. One such rule: Commas are used to set off a series, including multiple adjectives describing a single noun.

Incorrect – She had long brown hair.

Correct – She had long, brown hair.

The first example, both long and brown are describing the hair. Much like setting off a series with commas, like apples, oranges, and bananas, you must set multiple adjectives off when they come before a single noun. There are no shortcuts to this rule and it cannot be bent for convenience or general laziness.

Correct – He has watery, blue eyes.

Correct – He has watery blue eyes.

The second example emphasizes the importance of a comma, or lack of comma when dealing with multiple adjectives. Watery, in the first sentence, clearly states the poor man has watery eyes.  Watery in the second sentence describes a specific color of blue, which describes the eyes.

At the end of the day, the only way you are going to get your point across properly to a reader is to write within the rules of grammar. There are many rules to learn, and you must learn them to determine if you can bend them.

A single comma can change the entire meaning of a simple sentence, so be careful out there!

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Mirror Image by K.G. Stutts

 

Mirror Image by K.G. Stutts

Madison Mackenzie Rhodes, Maddie for short, would call her life “comfortable.” She works in a call center, lives with her best friend of fifteen years, and spends most of her free time with her family. Her entire world is turned upside down when she finds out that she is a clone, created to hide the secret that we are not alone in this galaxy. Her counterpart, going by the nickname Mack, works for the Intergalactic Security Commission, which works with a coalition of other planets that protect each other and create technology. When an enemy rises from within the ISC that targets both Maddie and Mack, they must work together to save their lives as well as the planet.

Find this and the other three incredible tales on KG Stutts Amazon author page! 

To Prologue or Not To Prologue?

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This topic has come up in several sites I frequent lately. Traditional publishing says no prologue, readers say no prologue, everyone but the writer says it. So what do you do?

You have to go where your story leads, first and foremost. Sometimes you might go back and take out a chapter or the prologue, but you have to write it before you can revise it.

As an Acquisitions Editor, I’d never dismiss a manuscript simply because it came to me with a prologue. I’ve been known to ask for a prologue removal, and I’ve encouraged others to keep the prologue.

The prologue totally depends on your story plot. Like any other chapter, you need to write something, anything, within your prologue which propels the story forward. The prologue is not to explain the history of the mc. It isn’t an info dump on your new world background. The scene within the prologue must launch the story, as if it were the first chapter.

Deciding if you want a prologue? Stop asking everyone’s advice. Most writers are voracious readers. Take your own advice. Do you like prologues? Do you mind if a story begins somewhere other than the beginning? Don’t discount your own preferences over someone else’s. Everyone has different tastes in reading material. Someone will agree with you, and they’ll buy your book.

Get Rich Quick! Publish a Book!

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As an Acquisitions Editor, I get a lot of questions outside the scope of my work. Hopefully, I can help a few people understand the process of publication.

The most often question asked is ‘What kind of marketing does your company provide?’ Several writing sites encourage the idea that a small publisher will market your book and they’ll be good at it too. I’m not sure where this idea arose from. Traditional publishers won’t sink a dime into a new author. It’s too risky and chances are, they’ll lose money in the process. The more suitable question would be ‘Does your company offer marketing support for the author?’.

If you research various authors, popular and millionaires now, you’ll find that most had a difficult time starting off. You’ll have to dig deep. John Grisham’s  wiki entry barely references his first book, and the fact only 5,000 copies were originally published. What it leaves out is that his sales were abysmal, most likely due to lack of prints and marketing. John gathered up over 1,000 copies, which had been returned by book stores, and loaded them in his van before starting out across country. Remember the days when an author would make an appearance at a school, library, or bookstore? He sold the books, on his own, from money in his own pockets. If you aren’t willing to take your marketing strategy in hand, put yourself out there, in person and online, then why would someone else do it? At no cost to you?

The company I work for, Distinguished Press, does offer a marketing strategy and works closely with each author to make them a success. They understand that becoming a best selling author isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Time is needed to develop a following, a readership. They also understand that readers don’t contact the publisher for an autograph, to request a book signing or any number of other questions. A reader wants contact with the authors themselves. As a new author, you need to realize this too.

The other question most often asked is ‘How are sales?’. This is difficult to answer, because we have so many authors in various stages of their series (we’re a series publisher). But aside from trying to narrow down how well each author is currently selling, I don’t understand why someone would think we’d answer the question specifically. A new author wouldn’t call up Penguin and request author sales. Not only is it an invasion of privacy between publisher and author, but it would be a massive undertaking to gather and release that kind of information.

For a small publisher, sales can be great, but look small, because the number of books released, the amount of effort from the author, time of year, among other outside forces can dictate the current sales of an author. The best you can hope for is a generalization of sales. Even if you were to go to a specific author to ask the same question, the answer, by no means, is a reflection of your own possibilities or even sales of other authors under the same publisher.

A few years ago I came across a blog post of a NYT best seller. She outlined that her book sales had approached 421k while her earnings had reached just below 25k. Of course, it didn’t take long before the publisher had her remove the post, but some people still saw it. Now if the above question was posed to the publisher, the answer would be great, she had over 100k paperback sales this year. Does that mean that all their authors have sales that high? Nope. Does that mean the author is now set for life? Nope.

Numbers can’t be relied upon. You have to read your contract carefully and be prepared to market your book to the best of your ability. Actually, writing, as painful as it is sometimes, is the fun part of publishing. The rest of the process, you need to research and prepare yourself for years of hard work (in most cases) to make yourself a successful author.

Aside

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There is more going on here than there are words to describe. This year has been full of growth and laughter, and this fall has been the winter of the heart. So much loss has greeted this household. It’s left many things in a tizzy. The coming new year will be greeted with refreshment and joy, even as the mourning will continue for a long time to come.

Two of the freelancers contracting with TWN and the acquisitions editor of DP will be posting to the blog over the course of the months to come.

 

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The #5minutefiction contest and daily posts will resume after the first of the year. I did hope to have one tonight, however things beyond any control stopped that from happening. This is the reason for the delay until the first of the year.

Adan – you still have an email coming <3 Promise.

Marketing Monday posts will resume after the first of the year.

I haven’t posted much on here due to time constraints and management obligations. In preparation for the beginning of the new year there are some things in the background coming together. I’m looking forward to sharing more about each of them as we achieve those goals.

 

Have fun! Enjoy life – it’s far too short not to, and hug the person next to you.

 

#5MinuteFiction Wk 46 Prompt

Today’s Judge – Sarah Barnard, of Osier Publishing – is offering a publisher’s critique on any story you chose to submit.

 

In honor of Veterans everywhere, today’s prompt:

Your character reflects on the fallen warriors of past. 

All posts should be created and submitted by 745 CST

A Few Notes:

  • In the interest of time and formatting, it’s best to type straight into the comment box or notepad. It’s also smart to do a quick highlight and copy before you hit “post” just in case the internets decide to eat your entry. If your entry doesn’t appear right away, check with Catrina for who to contact.
  • The host reserves the right to remove hate speech, excessive violence, or similar but usually not too picky about the other stuff.
  • This is all for fun and self-promotion. So be sure to put your twitter handle at the end of your post and a link to your blog if you have one.
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