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Author, Freelance Writer and Writing Coach

The Little Comma With the Dot on Top

Ah, the tricky semicolon, that little comma with the dot on top that many, including newspaper reporters, editors and columnists, are never sure when to use and when to not. I’m always amazed whenever I see a semicolon improperly placed in a sentence when a comma, period or colon will do. The rules are easy, really: a semicolon is used to join two thoughts together that are independent but dependent on each other. One could use a period in place of the semicolon. After all, periods end independent thoughts. But the semicolon adds spice to the sentence when two thoughts…

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“People remember the beginning, the end, and maybe one chapter in the middle in that order. Make those three points painful.”

Selling Yourself Short

I never answer ads for freelance writing jobs that state that the amount of payment depends on a writer's experience. A job is either worth a certain amount of pay or it’s not, regardless of how many years a writer has under his or her belt. The companies that run these ads are trying to get talent for a steal, but the bottom line should be that your time as a freelance writer is money, and should not be dependent on how many years you have been penning your lines. Besides, a company knows what its budget is and what…

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Don’t Overdo the Ellipsis

The Internet has definitely made it easier for writers. A wealth of information is at a writer's fingertips and it has provided a way to work from home for anyplace in the country -- or even the world! But the Internet has also produced many armchair writers who either think that they understand grammar or believe that grammar rules don't apply in cyberspace. One grammatical mistake seen in the real world as well as online is the overuse and over extension of the ellipsis, that dot, dot, dot used to imply that a thought runs on or that certain words…

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