Apprentice Wordsmith A Writer's Blog

How Do I...? Dashes

I’ve got a lot of work stuff on my plate this month. You know what that means. Time for another episode of “How Do I…?”

This time, I’ll be discussing a particular piece of punctuation – dashes. (Yes, grammarians, I understand that there are multiple types of dashes, but I’m only referring to em dashes here.) This bit of punctuation has become my go-to whenever I’m building complex sentences and I’m not sure if commas would work. They’re a handy workaround for all those comma rules nobody can remember. The problem is that you don’t see them in the wild that often, so writers don’t know how to use them. If you’ve never heard of dashes before, take a few minutes to read this overview blog post from Grammarly.

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Writing Prompts 23

Have a nice Halloween? Trick-or-treating had to end early in my neighborhood because of a thunderstorm. But now that it’s officially November, it’s time for a new round of writing prompts.

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Friday Flash 14 -- The Lake Between Worlds

Insipred by “The Dead Marshes” by Vindsvept

You paddle your boat across the dark, still water. You don’t know how you got here or why you have come to this place. The fog is slowly consuming your memories. It wasn’t always there. You had a home and a family once – before the fog stole them.

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Idea You Can Steal 28 -- The Street Rat and the Dark God

Anybody else having a weird week? Not especially busy. Not particularly stressful. Just everything feeling off-kilter. Only me? Okay. And since I can’t think of a better segue this Friday evening, here’s your story idea for October.

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Write As Your Antagonist

All writers have heard some variation of the phrase “A story is only as good as its villain.” Yet writers, especially beginners, rarely write from the villain’s perspective. Why? Because in order to do so, we must tap into our own villainous potential. We must foster compassion, even empathy, for the traits we deny, repress, and reject.

It’s not a pleasant project. It can be downright unnerving. It’s little wonder then that most writers hesitate to attempt this. Even experienced writers can forget this possibility.

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