About Hazard Editing Services

Hazard Editing is reopening for one to two projects a month. We now charge $4 per 1k words for editing and $3 per 1k words for proofreading. Feel free to contact Lisa Hazard at lisacathazard (at) yahoo (dot) com. We offer a free five-page sample edit so you can try us out.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Commas, commas, commas. Sometimes ya gotta take them out.

Commas seem to be where writers get the most confused. Often writers use them as though they are a breath in a spoken sentence. Knowing when to take a comma out can make a sentence punchier and keep the flow of the scene tighter.

For example:

The cat ran outside, and into the shed, to escape the dog, who badly wanted to eat him.

Lots of commas. Try this:

The cat ran outside and into the shed to escape the dog, who badly wanted to eat him.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

When to Break Up a Paragraph

So you have a big block of text and it all goes together in the place in the story.

Readers have a hard time with big blocks of text. It's exhausting to look ahead and see you have to conquer that paragraph.

Where do you break it up?

My advice is to lead into a new thought at the end of a paragraph and use a punchy sentence that explains further for the beginning of your next paragraph. Read your big blocks and look for a good place. Paragraph pacing and spacing can make an impact on a sentence that could get lost in large amounts of text in a paragraph.

Monday, February 14, 2011

; ;

No, they aren't tears, although on the Interwebs you may see people cry with semicolons. How to use these? Well, semicolons separate two complete sentences, usually that have to do with the same thing.

The cat was white; not even a speck of gray or black on the critter.

That's the right way to do it.

Using a semicolon as a comma is common, but not correct usage. For example:

The can was white; gray and black, with a long tail.

That is not the way to use a semicolon.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Long, Skinny Necks.

I have been very happy with the work I have received. Reading every day, all day is a dream come true. I would like to offer editing and proofreading advice as part of this blog.

Today, commas in descriptions. He might have quite a neck on him, but is it a long skinny neck, or a long, skinny neck? The second is the right one, grammatically.

But what about times when you don't have a comma in descriptions? An example of this is, "Ratty blond hair." A comma is okay, but you can get away without it if it pleases you.

The man had a long, skinny neck and ratty blond hair. Long and skinny both describe the neck, but ratty can describe the color or the hair.