Writers’ questions answered

We often have questions in our mind that bother us throughout our writing life. We fall in a practical dilemma when we come across words that are pronounced in the same manner but written differently. Like “its” and “it’s”; or “affect” and “effect”. We sometimes confuse one for the other. And this applies not only to beginners.

It’s not rare that in the middle of a text we get stuck; we are at a loss when it comes to decide whether we can start a sentence with “Because” or “But”. At school we learn one way, and when we get into writing later it’s a whole different scenario.

Or sometimes we mix up genres which are often classified invariably in the same category. Do you make a difference between “memoir” and “autobiography”? Yes, they are different, as explained at Questions and Quandaries by Brian A. Klems. Brian, who is the online managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine, tells us that “an autobiography focuses on a chronology of events in the writer’s life, while a memoir deals with a specific aspect of it”.

At Questions and Quandaries Brian A Klems answers a number of other questions on various aspects of writing: grammar, looking to get published or get paid, writing and tracking queries, hiring public relations specialists or agents, copyrights issues and a lot more. I thought you might be interested.

And if you have any questions you’d like answered you can just post them in the comments section of Brian’s Questions and Quandaries or you can e-mail him at WritersDig@fwpubs.com with “Q&Q” in the subject line.

Incidentally, if you’d wish to know more about homonyms and confusing words Kristy Taylor draws a list with their meanings at “Confused By Some Words?” posted under “Storytellers’ nuts and bolts” in Aneeta Sundararaj’s newsletter “How to tell a great story”.

Hope you get something out of these, even if it’s just to refresh your mind.

A retired government officer, former trade unionist and occupational safety & health management consultant based in Rodrigues Islands, Alfa King (real name: Amanoola Khayrattee) is a bilingual contributor to This Week News (http://thisweeknews.info). He has been editor of trade union newsletter and has contributed articles for various in-house magazines, publications, and the local press. He blogs since 2007, and when he is not reading or surfing on the internet, he is hiking over an 8-km-daily routine.
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