Among Everything Else, Ten Things Creative Writers Must Learn

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02/20/2013 by Stephen Silke

Hand Drawn Mind Map (c) Stephen Silke, 2013

A Map of An Artistic Endeavor

  1. They’re, there, their, it’s, its, lie, lay down, your, you’re, anon, ibid, sic.
  2. Dashes are for artists–semicolons are for accountants and research assistants. (Oh, and by the way, a dash is not a hyphen: –≠-).
  3. How to remove the default extra space between paragraphs that Microsoft–for some brain-dead reason–deemed appropriate as standard formatting in Word.
  4. Their is plural. It doesn’t take the place of “he,” or “she,” “his,” or “her.”
  5. You is not an imperative.
  6. Use of the Oxford comma when we are inviting two people for a quiet evening: (Wrong) We invited the strippers, Lenin and Stalin to the party. (Correct) We invited the strippers, Lenin, and Stalin to the party. (Thank you original source.)
  7. She gave the book to Jim and me, not Jim and I.
  8. Loose and lose are different words, please do not conflate.
  9. That, which. (It is good and right to learn the difference between a restrictive clause and a non-restrictive one.)
  10. “A [story] is constructed, piece by piece, like a building. The work … is above all a process of creation–it is never merely a product.” –Paul Klee
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