Maria Murnane News & Updates
Recent Updates

June 14, 2018

Examples of why it's better to "show" than "tell"

Examples of why it’s better to “show” than “tell” If you’re still puzzled by the concept of show vs. tell, you’re not alone. I think many authors tell too much because they...
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May 21, 2018

Why it's good to avoid adverbs

Why it’s good to avoid adverbs One function of adverbs is to modify adjectives, in other words to describe something that already describes something. That alone should give...
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May 07, 2018

Capitalization confusion

Capitalization confusion Last week I read a novel that contained multiple capitalization errors. The book was published by a small press, which made me wonder how thorough...
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April 23, 2018

Are you making this common mistake?

Are you making this common mistake? We learn to speak before we learn to read and write, so when we begin to  put words onto a page it’s easy to confuse those that sound the...
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April 09, 2018

What is the passive voice?

What is the passive voice? Unless you’re a grammar nut like I am, chances are you’ve never heard the term “passive voice.” Here’s a quick explanation: Passive...
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March 26, 2018

Watch out for repetitive descriptions in your writing

Watch out for repetitive descriptions in your writing In previous posts I’ve addressed my tendency to overuse certain words, phrases, or gestures, for example she bit her...
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March 12, 2018

A refresher on hyphenation

Hyphens are used to avoid ambiguity when two descriptive words are next to each other before a noun. (They are also used for compound words such as self-esteem.) For...
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February 26, 2018

Two abbreviations that are easy to confuse

Do you know the difference between e.g. and i.e.? If your answer is no, or that you think you do but you’re not sure, you’re not alone. Here’s a quick refresher on how to use...
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February 12, 2018

Don't "tell" on top of beats that "show"

In previous posts I’ve discussed how useful beats (action) are to show your readers instead of telling them. I also advised against using beats too often because it can dilute...
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November 06, 2017

To lie vs. to lay

When I was in high school, people used to say “laying out” when referring to catching rays at the pool or the beach. At the time I remember thinking they should have worn...
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September 27, 2017

Watch out for dangling participles

If there is one grammar term that I never understood until recently, it was “dangling participle.” Now that I finally know what it means, I thought I’d explain it...
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July 24, 2017

Are you mixing up these words?

Some words are hard to remember. I have to look up “supercilious” every time I come across it. Others are confusing. I still don’t get what “camp” means when used as an...
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