An Important Opening Remark
If you're iffy on your grammar (and your free Grammarly account just isn't cutting it for you), the Elysian Muse Editorial team is always free to proofread work and give constructive feedback. We can help you prepare manuscripts, cover letters, as well as your creative writing. Just shoot us an email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for publishing advice and free critiques. We're always looking to help young creators in any way we can!
That being said, if you don't find the answers you're looking for on this page, feel free to send us your question.
General Grammar Advice
When it comes to grammar, especially in the English language, there are some basics you should know before diving into writing your novel. Below are some articles written by the editorial staff that can help you out:
3a) Editing Jobs Defined: What Editors, Copyeditors, and Proofreaders Do
3b) The Purist Debate And The English Language
3c) Standard vs. Nonstandard Phrases And Words With More Than One Spelling
3d) Perfecting Your Personal Proofreading
3e) Keeping Your Reader Happy: Grammar Mistakes That Drive Readers Nuts
3f) Manuscript Proofreading and Formatting
3g) How To Choose A Freelance Editor For Your Writing
3i) When to Italacize
3j) 10 Grammar Rules You Can Break—And Maybe Should!
An Anatomy Class on Sentences
How exactly do sentences work? What goes and what doesn't? We answer all your burning questions about syntax and design in the following articles:
3k) Agreeing To Agree: Basic Pronoun Rules
3l) Subject-Verb Agreement Made Easy
3m) Pronouns And Antecedents
3n) The Scoop On Sentence Fragments
3o) Fragments And Run-On Sentences: Sentence Spoilers
3p) Contraction Confusion
3q) How To (Not) Split Infinitives
3r) The Joys Of Gerunds
3s) Misplaced Modifiers
3t) Appositives: What They Are And How To Punctuate Them
3u) Was Versus Were and Other Examples of the Subjunctive Mood
Do you use way too many commas? Are you just throwing in semicolons for the heck of it? Stop by here to perfect your punctuation:
3v) Deciphering Dialogue: Punctuating Characters’ Speech
3w) Further Notes On Punctuating Dialogue
3x) Punctuation And Quoted Material
3y) Character’s Thoughts: Punctuating and Formatting
3z) Apostrophes: Grammar Rules For Showing Possession
3aa) Serial Commas, Ellipses, and Em Dashes
3bb) Three Essential Semicolon Rules
3cc) Seven Fundamental Comma Rules
3dd) Punctuating Restrictive And Nonrestrictive Clauses
3ee) Hyphen Rules: Don’t Let Misused Hyphens Muddle Your Adjectives Or Your Writing
3ff) Hyphens And Tigers And Bears, Oh My!
3gg) To Cap Or Not To Cap
3ii) Harness The Power Of…The Ellipsis!
3jj) In Memoriam: The Interrobang‽
3kk) The Oxford Comma Controversy
Writing Attractive Sentences
So you understand syntax and the basic anatomy of sentences. Well, now it's time to move past the skeletal bone structure and onto the juicy meat your sentences. Help yourself to some of our articles to make your sentences that much more enticing:
3ll) Repurposing Words: Surprise Your Readers With Unusual Word Choices
3mm) Putting Verve In Your Verbs
3nn) Collective Nouns: Pairing Verbs With Difficult Nouns
3oo) Don’t Leave Your Readers Hanging: Avoiding Dangling Modifiers In Your Writing
3pp) Active And Passive Voice Sentences
3qq) Doubling Up: Constructing And Correcting Sentences With Duplicate Words
3rr) How And When To Start A Sentence With A Conjunction
3ss) I Have A Dream: 8 Heart-Stopping Rhetorical Techniques Of King’s Speech
3tt) How To Write Good
3uu) Sentence Length: The Power Of Placing Periods
3vv) Halt! How To Punctuate A…Dramatic Pause
3ww) Scare Quotes, Exclamation Points, Almost, and Plural Compounds
3xx) Verbal Gobbledygook: Editing Extra Words Out Of Your Writing
Spelling: Man's Greatest Enemy
Let's face it: Words are hard. They can be confusing and easily mixed up. Below are a few articles to help you out on commonly confused and misspelled words:
3yy) List Of Confusing Words And Homonyms
3zz) Homana-What? Homographs, Heteronyms, And Homonyms Decoded
3aaa) Spell It Right
3bbb) How Not To Confuse These Commonly Confused Words
3ccc) Tips For Recognizing And Spelling Compound Words
3ddd) When And How Should You Use i.e. & e.g. In A Sentence?
3eee) Is There Only One Place For “Only” In A Sentence?
3fff) When To Use Lie Or Lay
3ggg) “Off Of” And Like vs. As
3hhh) Email Or E-mail? Website Or Web site? Online Or On-line?
3iii) Use Or Utilize?
3jjj) It’s vs. Its And That vs. Which
3kkk) Libel Or Slander?
3lll) Biannual, biennial, or Semiannual?
3mmm) Everyday Or Every Day? One Word Or Two?
3nnn) US vs. U.S.: When To Use Periods And When To Leave Them Out
3ooo) Cannot Or Can Not? One Word Or Two?
3ppp) Open Mike Or Open Mic?
3qqq) Who Versus Whom
3rrr) Advent vs. In The Event; Uppermost vs. Uttermost
3sss) Toward Or Towards, Anyways, And We vs Us
3ttt) Titled vs. Entitled
3uuu) Three Common Grammar Mistakes: “A Lot” Or “Alot”; Abbreviating “Versus”; And When “Nor” Is Appropriate On Its Own
3vvv) The “Blond Or Blonde” And “Gray Or Grey” Debates
3www) “The Reason” Versus “The Reason Why:” Is There One Right Way?
3xxx) Regarding Regard And Regards: Using These Words Correctly
3yyy) Who or Whom: An Epic Grammar Battle Easily Resolved.
3zzz) Please Accept—Or Except—This Grammar Tip.
Style and Formatting
Some people spend hours fussing over formatting, while others slap their work on a Google Doc and call it a day. Here are some great tips on being efficient while also maintaining professionalism when it comes to literary contests and publishing opportunities.
3aaaa) ¡Ay, Caramba! To Italicize Or Not To Italicize Non-English Words And Phrases
3bbbb) Formatting Numbers In Creative Writing
3cccc) The Use Of Gender-Neutral Language In Your Writing
3dddd) Okay, OK, Or O.K.? Do You Know Which Is Correct, Incorrect, Or Preferred?
3eeee) How To Properly Use The Terms “Ladies” And “Gentlemen” In Your Writing
3ffff) Capitalization And Degrees: When To Capitalize The Name Of Your College Or Graduate Degree
3gggg) When To Capitalize The Common Noun Names Of Family Relatives