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Thrice Written

Location: United States

Member Since: March 2014

Open for read requests: Yes

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(If you're looking for grammar tips or practical writing advice, please scroll down to my "Grammar Corner" down below!)

 

First things first: 

  • If you ask me to read your story or poem, please return the favor for my works once I leave a review. And by that, I mean I would like a substantial review in exchange.Not doing so means, to me, that you don't appreciate the thought and effort I put into reviewing your story upon your request, and encourages me to never read or review your writing again (as in, all future requests from you will be ignored and you may be blocked if it continues). Promising to read my writing after I've reviewed but never actually doing it is, in my books, just as bad. Also, promising time and time again to review my work, then neglecting to do so before plying me with reading requests of your own gets on my nerves. Be a man or woman of your word. It's just a matter of common courtesy. Thank you for understanding!
  • I may not answer every reading request. If I see that your story has a lot of long chapters and poor formatting, or I'm not immediately hooked by the first few paragraphs, there is a high chance I will pass it up (life gets busy, after all). If this is the case, I will politely let you know. However, I will always review at least the first chapter of your story if you leave a notable review on my work as a sign of goodwill.
  • Do not ask me to proofread your work. Ever. To be honest, you're wasting both your time and mine when you ask me to do this. Spellcheck is your first line of defense. Your own eyes are your second. I don't think I usually emphasize this enough, but if you want to ask me to edit your work, my eyes should not be the first to read it! I'm perfectly happy to answer grammar questions, but give me a draft riddled with basic grammatical and/or spelling errors, and I'll be turned off immediately. So please - proofread on your own!
  • I always leave detailed, substantial reviews. If I don't, it means that I'll be returning to your story at a later date to add more of my thoughts, and I will say so.

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A little about me . . .

  • I'm eighteen years old, female, and Chinese. I speak both English and Mandarin fluently, and I've dabbled in Japanese and German. I'm also a Virgo. ^^
  • I'm both a writer with a decent amount of experience and an avid reader, so I know what I'm looking for. I always welcome constructive criticism. :) 
  • Writing and editing are my two passions, so please feel free to ask me to help you edit your work or to offer advice. Just a head's up: I'm a real stickler for grammar and proper writing conventions; however, I do make an exception for poetry (to allow for artistic license). If you want your stories and poems to be read because you expect only praise, you should be asking your friends and family, not me. I am always honest about what I think of a particular piece of work, and that includes both praise AND criticism - and occasionally one without the other.
  • My tongue may be sharp and my mind may be critical, but I will never make hurtful remarks about your writing, nor will I take things to a personal level. I love to help others improve, so I try my best to be professional, and to tailor my critique to suit the needs of a particular story or poem with the aim of helping the author or poet make positive changes.
  • I'm always in search of a story with a strong emotional backbone, an intriguing plot, and excellent storytelling. Hit me up if you've got one! I usually prefer realistic fiction, romance, fantasy, and angst, but the genre doesn't matter to me so much as the content.
  • Remember, less is more!
  • A writer always has room for improvement, no matter what skill level he or she is at. There's no space for pride and sensitivity at the writing table.

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My favorite literary phrases are . . .

  • suspension of disbelief
  • deus ex machina
  • drama of sensibility
  • and others that I have yet to remember or discover!

 

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Grammar Corner

Welcome to my Grammar Corner! In this section, I'll be providing helpful grammar tips for those who need to brush up on their general grammatical skills and for those who are interested in learning about the specifics of grammar (and miscellaneous other practical writing tips). If a tip comes to mind and you notice I don't already have it listed, please let me know and I'll include it here. :)

1. It's "anyway." Not "anyways." "Anyways" is neither a legitimate word nor grammatically correct - never has been, never will be, no matter how many people use it colloquially. Since the word "any" is singular, it only makes sense that "way" would also be singular.

2. The same goes for "alright." It's "all right," guys. The former is only acceptable if it's part of a character's dialogue.

3. "Lowly" is an adjective, not an adverb, and it's not a substitute for "softly" or quietly." This is more of an issue I tend to see among the fanfiction crowd. In reality, "lowly" means humble, modest, or inferior, like a lowly servant or lowly in spirit. If you want to show that someone said something in a quiet voice, just use "softly," "quietly," or "in a low voice." Anything along those lines works.

4. Overusing the word "deadpan" as a verb does not actually make you cool. Try mixing it up by pairing an ordinary verb (like "say" or "ask") with the adverbs "flatly, "expressionlessly," or "impassively."

5. When you're writing dialogue, it's always a comma inside the end quotation mark (not a period) if you follow it with a speaker tag. However, if the sentence of dialogue ends as a question mark or an exclamation point, you leave it as it is. If there isn't a speaker tag following the dialogue, you should also leave the punctuation the way it is, even if it's a period (I see this issue a lot, and yes, I do know that people do it out of creative license, but honestly, it just looks awkward. And you should at least know what the rules are before you start bending and breaking them, right?). Lastly, if the speaker tag interrupts a sentence, it needs a comma on both ends.

Example: 

"Where the hell is my teapot?" demanded Mother.

"It's in the oven," my brother said.

"What? Why would it be in the oven?"

"I don't know. Don't ask me." He shrugged. "The cat was the one who put it there."

"The cat," Mother snapped, "wouldn't have left greasy handprints everywhere, would it?"

6. Keep your verb tenses consistent. Don't switch back and forth between present tense and past tense unless you're doing a flashback or something similar. You can catch your mistakes in this area easily by just re-reading your writing, one sentence at a time (doing it out loud also helps).

7. If your character is addressing someone else in their dialogue, add a space and a comma before their name.

Example:

"Hey, I'm not ready yet, Julia!"

"Just kiss me already, you idiot."

8.When you write dialogue, start a paragraph for each new speaker. This one is pretty self-explanatory. In other words, spare your readers a confusing headache and make sure it's clear who's speaking at any given time.

9. There's a difference between "lay" and "lie." You would "lie" on a bed, but you would "lay" a book down on the table. Potentially confusing but equally important: the past tense of "lie" is actually "lay." Frustrated by the English language yet?

10. If you're making a list of items, make sure you use commas properly. A comma always goes before the "and" that precedes the last item on the list. This is called the serial comma (or the Oxford comma - whichever you prefer). Some people say it's optional, but let's take a look at the famous example below . . .

Example (without the comma): We invited the strippers, JFK and Stalin.

Example (with the comma): We invited the strippers, JFK, and Stalin.

Clearly, JFK and Stalin aren't strippers. Use the serial/Oxford comma to avoid making mistakes like the one above!

11. "It's" is a contraction of "it is." "Its" is possessive. Big one that tends to trip people up (especially the ones who don't like to proofread).

Example:

It's raining in London today.

The dog licked its paw.

12. Stick to the universal writing standards if you can. Yes, I know it's fun to mess around with conventions, but it's also easy to confuse people. Here's what I mean:

Narration is in normal font (like so).

Thoughts are in italics.

Emphasis on certain words and phrases are shown through italics or CAPS. (If the surrounding writing is already in italics, make the emphasized word or phrase bold or simply unitalicize it.)

Dialogue is used with "double quotation marks."

Quotes within dialogue are used with 'single quotation marks.'

13. Add an apostrophe and an "s" following a person's name that ends in "s" to denote possession unless the person's name happens to be plural. Not adding the extra "s" is obsolete and grammatically incorrect.

Example:

"That's Jack Jones's dog, isn't it?"

"Yeah, it's the Jones' family dog, from what I've heard."

14. You use "each other" when there are only two people involved. "One another" is used for three people or more.

Example:

The two boys looked at each other.

The team members gave one another skeptical looks when the new girl stepped out onto the field.

15. There is a difference between "further" and "farther." "Further" refers to an abstract distance, while "farther" refers to a physical distance. The key to remembering this is associating "far" (which describes a distance) with "farther."

Example:

His studies had progressed further than he'd thought.

Go farther down this street and you'll find that old house I was talking about.

16. Feel free to suggest other grammar tips and practical writing tips for this list!

 

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(I used to write fanfiction for a certain series on another site. I may be bribed into divulging which one . . . if you haven't figured it out already from my pen name, haha.)

 

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