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Farley’s Friday: Dog Dreams

I wake up to Kristina rubbing my head. Her hands massage my ears and she whispers, “Shhhh.” I open my eyes to darkness and feel my soft bed underneath my belly. My breathing is ragged and my legs are tired. This is is how I know I’ve been dreaming.

But what do dogs dream about?

This . . .

Dog cookies

My friend Beans has a human who gives her cookies. All the time. On every walk. Who wouldn’t dream about that.

Now, I’m hungry, but there’s no way Kristina will feed me in the middle of the night. I know this, so I don’t even ask. She rubs my tummy until I fall back into a gentle sleep.

Woof Woof

Before You Submit: Questions in Dialogue

Do you have a draft of your novel or short story and are thinking of submitting to an agent, publisher or writing contest? My series called Before You Submit might help. This series contains hints and tips I’ve received from professionals in the publishing industry. Each week I’ll share a new tip.

This week’s topic is Questions Within Dialogue Tags.

The advice:

Don’t end a sentence containing a question within dialogue with said. Use asked. A kind editor pointed out this easy fix to me. For example:

“He’s blaming me?” Kendra said

Should be

“He’s blaming me?” Kendra asked.

I hope this helps improve your writing.

See Before You Submit:Likeable Characters for the first blog in this series and an introduction the benefits of submitting even if you get a rejection letter.

Thanks for reading . . .

Farley’s Friday: Happy Feet

Farley here,

My peeps love snowshoeing. They’ve been holding back because of my feet issues.

Check this out. I’ve got my own snow shoes. They may not stop me from sinking in the snow, but they do keep ice from building between my pads. I can go for hours now.

This is me doing the happy roll . . .

Farley rolling

This is me sitting regally, looking especially handsome in my new shoes.

Farley with boots sitting

I can even run in them. Check this out. You won’t believe how fast I can run.

Woof Woof.

Before You Submit: Time Qualifiers

Do you have a draft of your novel or short story and are thinking of submitting to an agent, publisher or writing contest? My series called Before You Submit might help. This series contains hints and tips I’ve received from professionals in the publishing industry. Each week I’ll share a new tip.

This week I’ll write about Time Qualifiers.

The question is: do you need a time qualifier or not? You might want to use a qualifier for style, but you might not need it for clarity. The choice is up to you. I’m only giving you something to think about.

The following sentence includes the time qualifier, At that moment.

At that moment, Kendra heard rustling in the bunk above her. A pair of bloodshot eyes appeared over the edge of the mattress and peered at her.

Of course, this is happening at the moment. When else would it be happening? The easy fix . . .

Kendra heard rustling in the bunk above her. A pair of bloodshot eyes appeared over the edge of the mattress and peered at her.

In the example, I think the writing is faster and more interesting without the qualifier, so I chose to remove the first three words. Of course, I can’t take credit for the change. The editor suggested tightening the sentence and I agreed.

I hope this helps improve your writing.

See Before You Submit:Likeable Characters for the first blog in this series and an introduction the benefits of submitting even if you get a rejection letter.

Thanks for reading . . .

 

Farley’s Friday: Cold Feet

Farley here,

AARG! Look what my humans have done to me.

Boots

So it’s below 20 degrees celsius in this country? So ice forms in my pads and hurts me? Is that any reason to make me wear Kristina’s socks tied on with a blue elastic? I think they’re the running socks she wore this morning. What if one of my pals saw me. I don’t exactly look PAWsome.

But I like to think I can outsmart the silly humans. Not long into the walk, I discover if I slip my tooth underneath the elastic I can pull off the sock. Matt puts it back on each time, but both get the point I don’t like the fashion statement I’m making.

Boots 2

We get back to the house, and I eavesdrop on their conversation. They’re taking me to Chopper’s Pet Supplies in town,  and I get to choose new booties.  Really, making me go in public wearing used sweat socks and a blue elastic. Grrr.

Woof Woof.

Before You Submit: Job Titles

Do you have a draft of your novel or short story and are thinking of submitting to an agent, publisher or writing contest? My series called Before You Submit might help. This series contains hints and tips I’ve received from professionals in the publishing industry. Each week I’ll share a new tip.

This week I’ll write about Capitalizing Job Titles.

Until a professional edited my work, I hadn’t thought about job titles and whether I should capitalize them or not.

An editor corrected a sentence by changing the first letter of a job title to lower case. Hmm? I used my handy Chicago Manual of Style to check the rule. It’s hard to know what to check if you don’t even know you should check something. This is where an editor comes in.

The rules for capitalizing job titles (and this is me summarizing so check a grammar manual for details):

If the job title is part of the name, then use a capital.

President Stanley likes grammar rules.

I decided I should be the president in this example :)

If ‘the’ is written before the job title or the job title follows the person’s name, then don’t use a capital.

Ms. Stanley, the president, likes grammar rules.

It’s not a hard rule. Job titles are sometimes capitalized for style or emphasis within an organization, and so we get used the look even though it’s incorrect. All I needed was an editor to point out my error, and I’ll never make it again. I can dream, can’t I?

I hope this helps improve your writing.

See Before You Submit:Likeable Characters for the first blog in this series and an introduction the benefits of submitting even if you get a rejection letter.

Thanks for reading . .

 

Farley’s Friday: Monster on the Deck

Farley Here,

A monster attacks Matt. I bark and whine and run in circles. I have to save him.

“What is this monster?” I bark.

Matt can’t hear me over the thunderous scraping and banging.

My sharp, strong teeth grab the edge of the monster and pull. Matt pulls back. I think he’s trying to save me. What a dummy. I’m trying to save him.

F and shovel

This goes on for an hour. I’m exhausted, but I’ve kept Matt alive.

We live another day to fight the snow monster.

Woof Woof

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