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Citation Information: Severson, Heather. 2012. The Mercenary Writer's Guides: Manuscript Critique and Grammar Rx. StudioGraphia: Tucson, AZ. http://www.MercenaryWriter.net 1 The Mercenary Writer's Guides: Manuscript Critique and Grammar Rx Congratulations! Here’s what WORKS in this manuscript:

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Page 1: The Mercenary Writer's Guides: Manuscript Critique and Grammar …studiographia.net/MercenaryWriter/MercenaryWriterGrammarRX.pdf · The Mercenary Writer's Guides: Manuscript Critique

Citation Information: Severson, Heather. 2012. The Mercenary Writer's Guides: Manuscript Critique and Grammar Rx. StudioGraphia: Tucson, AZ. http://www.MercenaryWriter.net

1

The Mercenary Writer's Guides: Manuscript Critique and Grammar Rx 

Congratulations! Here’s what WORKS in this manuscript: 

Page 2: The Mercenary Writer's Guides: Manuscript Critique and Grammar …studiographia.net/MercenaryWriter/MercenaryWriterGrammarRX.pdf · The Mercenary Writer's Guides: Manuscript Critique

Citation Information: Severson, Heather. 2012. The Mercenary Writer's Guides: Manuscript Critique and Grammar Rx. StudioGraphia: Tucson, AZ. http://www.MercenaryWriter.net

2

Grammar Diagnosis & Treatment Prescription  Directions: 1. See the specific writing issues I’ve identified in your work. 2. Read the appropriate section in Diana Hacker’s Rules for Writers. 3. Revision: Consider these solutions as you revise your work. 4. Practice: Apply this information to your next writing project. Rx√ Topic Specific Issue Example from Manuscript

Clarity: Sentences Active vs. passive verbs Active vs. be verbs Active Verbs Parallelism Needed Words Mixed Constructions Misplaced modifiers Dangling modifiers Shifts: Person and Number Shifts: Tense Shifts Choppy sentences Subordination Clarity: Word Choice Wordy sentences Jargon Sexist language Misused words Standard idioms Clichés and mixed metaphors Grammar Sentence fragments Run-on sentences Subject-verb agreement Pronoun-antecedent agreement Pronoun reference Pronoun case (such as I vs. me) who and whom Pronoun case: review Adjectives and adverbs Irregular verbs Standard English verb forms Verb tense and mood ESL Grammar Helping verbs and main verbs Conditional sentences Verbs followed by gerunds or infinitives Articles Omissions and repetitions Order of cumulative adjectives Present vs. past participles Prepositions showing time and place

Page 3: The Mercenary Writer's Guides: Manuscript Critique and Grammar …studiographia.net/MercenaryWriter/MercenaryWriterGrammarRX.pdf · The Mercenary Writer's Guides: Manuscript Critique

Citation Information: Severson, Heather. 2012. The Mercenary Writer's Guides: Manuscript Critique and Grammar Rx. StudioGraphia: Tucson, AZ. http://www.MercenaryWriter.net

3

Rx√ Topic Specific Issue Example from Manuscript Punctuation Major uses of the comma Minor uses of the comma All uses of the comma Misuses of the comma The semicolon and the comma The colon, the semicolon and the comma The apostrophe Quotation marks Other punctuation marks Mechanics Abbreviations Numbers Italics (underlining) The hyphen Capital letters The Basics Parts of speech: nouns Parts of speech: pronouns Parts of speech: verbs Parts of speech: adjectives Parts of speech: adverbs All parts of speech Subjects Subject complements and direct objects Indirect objects and object complements Linking, transitive, and intransitive verbs Prepositional phrases Subordinate clauses Subjects of subordinate clauses Verbal phrases Phrases and clauses Sentence types Citation Check spelling of names and titles,

accuracy of dates, etc.

Titles: include subtitles. Publisher: include publisher and place of

publication

Periodicals: list volume and issue/number Internet sites must always be evaluated for

reliability. Be critical. Never assume online information is correct.

Medium of publication: Most style guides require that you include a brief description of the medium.

Citation Format and Style--Check and double check citations, both in-text and in the References or Works Cited list.

Page 4: The Mercenary Writer's Guides: Manuscript Critique and Grammar …studiographia.net/MercenaryWriter/MercenaryWriterGrammarRX.pdf · The Mercenary Writer's Guides: Manuscript Critique

Citation Information: Severson, Heather. 2012. The Mercenary Writer's Guides: Manuscript Critique and Grammar Rx. StudioGraphia: Tucson, AZ. http://www.MercenaryWriter.net

4

Books on the Art and Craft of Writing  Rx√ Recommended Reading Especially this Section

Chris Baty. No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days

Steve Biko. I Write What I Like: Selected Writings Ray Bradbury. Zen in the Art of Writing Dorothea Brande. Becoming a Writer Renni Browne. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to

Edit Yourself Into Print

Robert Olen Butler. From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction

Julia Cameron. The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

Julia Cameron. The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life

Joseph Campbell. The Hero with a Thousand Faces Annie Dillard. The Writing Life Umberto Eco. On Literature E.M. Forster. Aspects of the Novel John Gardner. On Becoming a Novelist John Gardner. The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for

Young Writers

Natalie Goldberg. Thunder and Lightning: Cracking Open the Writer’s Craft

Natalie Goldberg. Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life Natalie Goldberg. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the

Writer Within

William Goldman. Adventures in the Screen Trade William Goldman. Which Lie Did I Tell?: More

Adventures in the Screen Trade

Diana Hacker. Rules for Writers. Ernest Hemingway. A Moveable Feast Ernest Hemingway. On Writing Patricia Highsmith. Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction Stephen King. On Writing Milan Kundera. The Art of the Novel Anne Lamott. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing

and Life

Ursula K. Le Guin. Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew

Elmore Leonard. Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing Mario Vargas Llosa. Letters to a Young Novelist Donald Maass. Writing the Breakout Novel Vladimir Nabokov. Speak, Memory Patricia T. O’Conner. Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s

Guide to Better English in Plain English

George Orwell. Why I Write

Page 5: The Mercenary Writer's Guides: Manuscript Critique and Grammar …studiographia.net/MercenaryWriter/MercenaryWriterGrammarRX.pdf · The Mercenary Writer's Guides: Manuscript Critique

Citation Information: Severson, Heather. 2012. The Mercenary Writer's Guides: Manuscript Critique and Grammar Rx. StudioGraphia: Tucson, AZ. http://www.MercenaryWriter.net

5

Rx√ Recommended Reading Especially this Section Francine Prose. Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for

People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them

John Rember. MFA in a Box Rainer Maria Rilke. Letters to a Young Poet Pat Schneider. Writing Alone and with Others Wallace Stegner. On Teaching and Writing Fiction Sol Stein. Stein On Writing: A Master Editor of Some of

the Most Successful Writers of Our Century Shares His Craft Techniques and Strategies

John Steinbeck. Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath

William Stunk, Jr. The Elements of Style Lynne Truss. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance

Approach to Punctuation

Brenda Ueland. If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit

Christopher Vogler. The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers

Eudora Welty. Eudora Welty: Stories, Essays, and Memoirs

Eudora Welty. One Writer’s Beginnings Eudora Welty. The Eye of the Story: Selected Essays and

Reviews

Virginia Woolf. A Writer’s Diary William Knowlton Zinsser. On Writing Well: The Classic

Guide to Writing Nonfiction

Final Comments and General Recommendations