Picture Prompt – Use sparing language

You are standing at the bottom of these stairs looking up.

Why have you come down them and what is waiting for you at the top?

Alternatively, what is behind you at the bottom?

Write about your situation without telling the reader exactly where you are or what is at the top of the stairs – or behind you. Use descriptive language to convey a picture that the reader can build up in their own mind. Make them use their imagination.

Use sparing language and make your reader feel the chill in their bones – whether it is the chill of air temperature or fear.

Remember; it is often what you cannot see that is the most vivid. Hitchcock used this to great effect. He rarely showed violence, he left you to imagine it. Think Psycho and the shower curtain scene.

Picture Prompt: Abandoned Buildings

Abandoned and decaying spaces fascinate us for all sorts of reasons. It might be the imagined history of the place or even knowledge of it before it fell into disrepair.

We can imagine the place is full of ghosts, but it will certainly be full of memories echoing down the corridors.

What does this space conjure up for you?

 

Possessive Apostrophe

An apostrophe used to show possession of something to someone can be a complicated thing. Do not confuse a possessive apostrophe with one used for a contraction of two words.

For clarity you should always consult a good style guide, such as New Hart’s Rules: The Oxford Style Guide or The Elements of Style by Strunk and White.

If you are submitting work to a publisher it is advisable to ask for their own house style as some of the examples in this article may differ from one publisher to another.

Show possession to one person or thing (singular noun)

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Homophones: Sound-Alike Words – Whose and Who’s

Who’s versus Whose?

Homophones are sound-alike words. They are spelt differently but sound the same.

Each word has a distinct meaning. If in doubt consult your dictionary or style book. A good proofreader will pick up mistakes such as these but it’s best to get it right in the first place.

So, when do you use who’s and when do you use whose and how do you remember which is which? Continue reading

Writing Prompt – Use all your senses except sight

You are standing by an open window in a castle.

Describe the smells, the sounds, the humidity of the air, anything you can taste, and anything you can feel around you. But do not describe anything you can see.

Picture Prompt – Figure amongst the trees

I couldn’t resist this one. It’s so atmospheric and a bit spooky at the same time.

Where is this and who is the figure amongst the trees and what is she doing there?

Writing Prompt – An Old Friend

A car pulls up alongside you one day and someone calls you by name. You struggle to place them and then realise it is an old friend who you believed had died 20 years earlier.

What Would You Of Done?

What would you of done?

In England, particularly, the word have is often pronounced to sound like of, as in, “What would you of done?” or “I could of done something about it”. This is also how people will write it!

Actually, in that very English of ways, what people are really saying is, “I could ‘av done something about it”. They’ve dropped the h in have and it sounds like of.

It doesn’t take much investigating to reveal that of is the wrong word to be using given the context demonstrated above.

The dictionary definition of the word of is as follows:  Continue reading