Quick-Tip Tuesday: Cutting Out the Filler

We’ve recently learned that our younger daughter is gluten-intolerant. (Yes, this is relevant. I promise. Bear with me.) And in discovering this, we have learned we can’t always assume we know what’s in the food we’ve been eating. It’s not that apples suddenly have gluten in them, but rather that lots of processed foods have hidden fillers, and these fillers often include gluten-rich ingredients.

As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m in the process of editing my first series, the LonTobyn Chronicle (Children of Amarid, The Outlanders, Eagle-Sage) for reissue later this year. Children of Amarid is already in production and on schedule for a July release, and I’m most of the way through The Outlanders right now.

I’ve noticed an incredible amount of extra verbiage in my early books — filler, if you will: superfluous words that add little to the storytelling, but clutter up my prose. For the wordiness-intolerant, […]

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Modifiers of the Verb Part Four: Clauses

So far we’ve seen three different grammatical ways to modify the verb: single word adverbs; prepositional phrases; and verb phrases. Now, we’ll look at clauses.

A clause is a group of words with a subject and a predicate.[1]

So, a sentence is a clause.

However, not all clauses are sentences.

There are two main types of clauses: independent clauses, also known as main clauses, and dependent clauses, also known as subordinate clauses. An independent clause stands on its own as a sentence. A dependent clause does not. A dependent clause is marked by a subordinating conjunction: a word that signals for the reader that the coming clause depends on the main clause.

An example: Everyone cheered for Bob when he won the award.

The subject of the sentence is everyone.

The main verb is cheered.

Everyone cheered for Bob is an independent clause. So is he won the award. But […]

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Modifying the Verb Part One: Single-word adverbs

(Sorry for the lateness of the post!)

Adverbials: Modifiers of the Verb.

Last week I promised a post on Adverbials: words and phrases used to describe verbs. So today that’s what I’m going to talk about.

There are lots of ways to modify verbs. All of them fall into the category of adverbials, but each of them is a bit different. I’ll be looking at 5 structures over the course of the next few weeks

Single-word adverbs Prepositional phrases Nouns and noun phrases Verb phrases Clauses

Adverbs are among the most moveable of our grammatical structures. We can’t move the subject and the verb without some difficulty; without deliberately sounding different. For example: “He ran to the store.” Subject, verb. We can say “to the store he ran,” but we know it is unusual grammar.

On the other hand, we can move our adverbs all over the place: Suddenly he […]

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