Avoiding Split Infinitives in Your Writing

Split Infinitives

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When writing a book you should avoid inserting split infinitives as this is one of the keys to great writing.

And all dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before – and thus was the Empire forged.

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Splitting an infinitive means inserting a word or phrase between the word to and the verb. A split infinitive is when the word to is separated from the infinitive by an adverb. The most famous example we can use, which sounds clumsy, is from Star Trek: Continue reading “Avoiding Split Infinitives in Your Writing”

Adverbs Unravelled

Adverbs Unravelled

Following on from a previous post on verbs, an adverb is a word or phrase that modifies the meaning of an adjective, verb or other adverb, expressing manner (swiftly, easily, gently), place (everywhere, here, there), time (daily, never, now, early, late) or degree (farthest, least, always, very, most, really). An adverb tells us when, where, how, in what manner or to what extent a certain action is performed, often identified by the suffix –ly, although not always: Continue reading “Adverbs Unravelled”

Verb Usage Unravelled

Verb Usage Unravelled

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A Verb is a ‘doing’ word. These can appear in different forms: active and passive – showing or telling:

  • It was hot (telling).
  • Carol sweltered in the heat (showing).

The latter will make your writing more positive and vivid, creating mental pictures for the reader, forcing them to become involved in and participate in the story, rather than taking in information passively. For example, being told someone’s age or describing something as a list (he did this, then he did that, then he did the other) appears more as an instruction: Continue reading “Verb Usage Unravelled”

The Difference Between I and Me

The Difference Between I and Me

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We cannot all be experts in everything, especially when it comes to proofreading and editing. The following will help when it comes to determining the difference between I and me.

I and me are both first person singular pronouns, which means that they are used by one person to refer to himself or herself. For example, I is the subject pronoun, used for the person ‘doing’ the verb: Continue reading “The Difference Between I and Me”

Spelling Anomalies

Spelling Anomalies

If you have used American English, keep a record of the spellings you decide upon, to ensure consistency, and look up complicated words in the dictionary. And don’t forget that if you have used American English, they have different words for the same thing, such as sidewalk (pavement), trunk (boot of a car), etc. If you ensure your choice of language is authentic, you won’t go far wrong. Continue reading “Spelling Anomalies”

First, Second or Third Person?

Deciding on a Viewpoint – First, Second or Third Person?

Once you have established what tense you want to write in, it is important to decide whose point of view you are going to write from and be consistent. For example, whether you are going to use I/me (first person), you (second person) or he/she/it (third person). Check that you haven’t slipped into a different person by mistake. There are advantages and disadvantages to each style, so let us look at them now: Continue reading “First, Second or Third Person?”