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  #1  
Old 02-18-2006, 09:02 PM
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Tip Contest


This is the Tip of the Day contest!
I will begin by posting my own tip.
  • Here are the rules, and where you can post your own entry for this contest.
  • Winners get .20 points which you can use to purchase goodies from the site.
  • A new winner is selected every day, so go for it!


Tip number uno:

The difference between lay and lie.

I know this may seem trivial, but many people use these interchangably and that just shouldn't be!
Why?

Well... when you "lay", you are doing it TO something.
For example: "I laid the book down on the table."

when you "lie", it is something YOU are doing.
For example: "I'm going to go lie down."

People commonly replace "lay" for "lie."
So saying something like "He is laying down" should instead be said as "He is lying down"


So now you know. Hope that helped!


Last edited by Perfect_Paradox; 12-09-2006 at 12:57 PM..
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2006, 08:57 PM
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Tip number two:

A suggestion for getting over "writers block".

We all have it occasionally. So how do we get over it?
I've seen numerous good ideas on this site so far, but I figured I'd throw in my own two cents.

Idea one: Just start writing!
Write anything. Start writing about how much you hate writing (not true of course, but we all feel that way when we need to write something and nothing comes), and how you just cant come up with anything, and write about how the story is just so complicated, and there is no good ending.... you see where I'm going from here.
This idea works best while typing, but regular writing can work also.

So why does this work?
Writers block is a mental thing - so when you write out all of your frustrations (which you can easily delete) it helps you clear your head. You could write some ideas for your work, horrible sentences, whatever you want.
But once you clear your mind by yelling all of your frustrations out on your paper it's incredible how those ideas just start coming.

Idea two: You just need to get away.
If number 1 just doesn't work, and you've been sitting at the computer for hours, it's time to just get up and stop. No one can be "on" constantly, so don't try. Take a walk. Blast music and dance around. Have some tea. Meditate. Play fetch with the dog. Whatever you want.
Just don't watch tv, haha. Because then you'll never go back.



Now I want to see some of your tips! Post them here for some points. :]
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Old 02-22-2006, 08:32 PM
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Tip number three:

Using (or not using) that.

That is a very tricky word. It is often included in writing when it should be removed in order to create a stronger sentence. But how do we know when it should stay, and when it should go?

I ran across a website (the link is at the bottom) where I found a few helpful tips, so I will attempt to write them in my own words for you all.

Here are a few situations where that can be omitted:
  • She knew [that] her husband was angry with her.
  • Jim thought [that] he heard something in the other room.
  • I believe [that] all men are created equal.

Of course it is a matter of personal style - but sentences do seem to flow better with the that removed.


There are also three situations where that should NOT be omitted (outlined by Theodore Bernstein)

1. When there is a mention of time between the verb and the clause:
  • He told her yesterday that he loved her.
    (yesterday is.. of course.. the mention of time.)
2. When the verb does not come immediately in the clause:
  • Her boss told her that the bonus which she had worked all month for was only $10.
    (notice the verb is "was," and it does not come directly after "the bonus".)
3. When a second that makes the sentence clearer:
  • Her father told her that she needed a job and that her grades had dropped.
    (if we remove the "that", would it be her father telling her that her grades dropped? or that her grades dropped because her father told her to get a job? This is how the second that makes the sentence clearer.)


If there are any questions please let me know... and I'll do my best to answer

All of this information came from here with credit to user "yulysess."

Last edited by Perfect_Paradox; 02-22-2006 at 08:36 PM..
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Old 02-22-2006, 09:00 PM
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Sorry but now I am a bit confuzzled - yes, I know that's not really a word, but it discribes my current state of mind nicely (I didn't get much sleep last night, which doesn't help, either lol ) - where should I add a tip for the tip of the day if I have one?

Here, where yours are? Or over there: http://www.writersbeat.com/showthread.php?t=1010
Or somewhere entirely different?

Point me in the right direction, please?
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Old 02-22-2006, 09:05 PM
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haha, all tip of the day entries should be posted here, (where the link takes you to. not in this thread) and the rules are all there, set up all nice and everything. :-D
You can rake up some easy points right now, though... because it's going to take a while for this to get off the ground, haha. So get them while you can!
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Old 02-22-2006, 09:15 PM
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Oh? Would being the only participant mean that I get to win by default?

I'll really have to strain my brain and come up with some, then.
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Old 02-22-2006, 09:32 PM
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easy points my friend.. eeeeasy points.
[and thanks! I need some help getting this off the ground ]
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:56 PM
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Tip of the Day added, too, in the thread pointed out for that purpose.

And you are entirely welcome to any help I can give you.
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Old 02-23-2006, 06:13 PM
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Tip number four:
Brought to you by: Panthere Noir!


Exercise your mental abs and pecs.
Here's an exercise I find helpful for that:

Subscribe to some "word of the day" mailing list or, alternatively, pick a word randomly off the page of a book or newspaper, then write up (without thinking too much about it) five sentences that contain that word, preferably only once. Try to finish within 10 - 15 minutes.


Here's how it goes, with "winter" the word in question:

Ah, life's ironies: having bragged to a friend that I made it through winter this year without even a sniffle when it was really cold a week or so ago, now I just caught a rather nasty cold during these last few warm days at its tailend.

I love winter in Tokyo, not just because of its drier than usual air - summer is horrid though: a free walk in steam bath every time you go outside - but because of the brilliant sunlight days so different from the greys of a mid-European one.

Caught in my own snare: Mulling over my random word, my mind caught on to an old Simon and Garfunkle song, and now I can't get "I am a rock" with its "a winter's day . . ." out of my head again.

My ranking of favourite seaons has changed with my move from Europe to Asia: Summer used to be my favourite there, and winter what I hated most; that has reversed now.

Having mentioned this tip to Perfect_Paradox, she suggested that I provide a demonstration if I post it; the randomly chosen word for that is "winter."
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Old 02-25-2006, 05:59 PM
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Tip number five:

How to use From and To.

So we all know when someone says "from A to Z" it makes sense, because A and Z are from opposite sides of the spectrum.

But people seem to take this idea a bit too far, and we see sentences like:
"He tried everything from chocolate to jelly beans."

This doesn't really make sense, because chocolate and jelly beans are both candy, and couldn't really be described as items from different sides of the spectrum.

So instead, this would make more sense written as:
"He tried all of the candy, including the chocolate and the jelly beans"

Also, we see sentences like:
"He got everything for Christmas, from remote controlled cars to clothes to money."

Once again this doesn't make sense because, well, you cant have more than two extremes.

So when you're using "from" and "to".. make sure the things that you're going "from" and "to" are from different sides of the spectrum.
:]
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Old 02-25-2006, 06:33 PM
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Oh, very good tip! I really like it, especially since I've seen sentences like the multiple "to" a lot myself.

Oh, and I'll try to think of another tip of my own soon, too.
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Old 02-26-2006, 04:33 PM
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I posted you another Tip of the Day of my own.

It's another one of those that are painfully obvious once you know it, but not neccesarily before you do. Hope you like it.
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Old 02-26-2006, 09:29 PM
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Tip number six:
Brought to you by Panthere Noir.

Make your OWN writing time.

I can't believe that I didn't post this as the first ever tip I made here. Because it's one of the very basics for anyone who is serious about writing (actually, it also applies to serious about a relationship):

Don't "write when I can" or when "I find the time for writing."

Time isn't found, it's something you create. That is, naturally, not time absolute, but personal time. Time that you make, or don't, for yourself.

So, if there is something you really want to do, like writing (or spend time with a partner or friends), don't wait until you "find the opportunity." Create the opportunity: schedule your time for writing into your day or week.

Put it into your appointments diary right along the most important business meetings and your assignments at work or school.

This may sound - people have told me it does - as uncreative (and unromantic) as hell, it also does not in every hour assigned to writing result in a new master piece, but having that special space and time for your writing, which can result in anything from actually making progress on a story to just doodling and musing about, I have found can and does improve writing by simply changing the attitude towards it, from something like a minor hobby that you follow up on "when I can" to making it a serious part of your daily life. It will make a difference, that I know from experience.

And again speaking from personal experience, every time I've lapsed from that habit, I've ended up regretting it, in matters large and small.

- Great one Panthere! I loved this one. Keep them coming

Last edited by Perfect_Paradox; 02-27-2006 at 06:50 PM..
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Old 02-26-2006, 11:57 PM
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I'm glad you liked it. And really, it does make a difference, sometimes a great one.

And I'm on IRC just now, too.
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Old 03-01-2006, 03:03 PM
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Tip number seven:
Brought to you by doolols.

Oldie but goodie.

My tip? It came to me after reading the newsletter just now.

If you run a writers' website, repeat after me: "I before E EXCEPT after C". Thus receive should be spelt r-e-c-e-i-v-e.

Misspelling in forums is normal, and unimportant. Making such a basic error in a formal communication is terrible.

____________

Thank you for your contribution doolols :]. I will make it the tip of the day today, so you get your points. But next time please post your entry here: http://www.writersbeat.com/showthread.php?t=1010. I explained why i seperated them in that post.
Thank you again for participating in this!

Last edited by Perfect_Paradox; 03-01-2006 at 06:43 PM..
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Old 03-01-2006, 04:26 PM
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Ah, I like the tip, doolols. As a non-native speaker of English, that'll give me an easy reminder that I lacked until now.

I think to get the reward points for the tip of the day you'll have to submit it through the offical thread here, though:

http://www.writersbeat.com/showthread.php?t=1010

Do it, you deserve the points.
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Old 03-02-2006, 05:46 PM
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Tip number eight:
Brought to you by Haragorn.

Anti-writers block activity:

If you really have no idea what to do for a story idea, then do a simple exercise. Open the dictionary to random places, and pull out words. Assign each word a number, and run them through a random number generator. Then you just add some linking words, and you have a topic! It's somewhat complicated, so I'll just put an example below.


First, I open a dictionary to a random page and find a word in it. You can do as many words as you like, but I prefer six to eight. It would also work to just open a window with Google, and then type in a random letter. After hitting search, a list of links come up. You would choose the first word from each, or another random word.

The words I got are:
Organic, fastidious, abide, sauerkraut, transition, cotton, waistcoat.

Then I assign them numbers.
1) Organic, 2) fastidious, 3) abide, 4) sauerkraut, 5) transition, 6) cotton, 7) waistcoat.

I feed them into a random number generator site, like http://www.random.org/sform.html and have it scramble them.

The order I got was:
1365274

That is:
Organic abide cotton transition fastidious waistcoat sauerkraut.

Then, feel free to change forms of the words and add small words. For instance, I turned that into:
Organics abide the great cotton transition by fastidiously wearing waistcoat shaped sauerkrauts.

See? I mean, it's bound to be extremely strange, but it can get your brain working. Write a short story about it, then you should be over any writer's block, or anything else, that you may have. And hey, there's almost no chance of plagiarizing at all.
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Old 03-05-2006, 12:04 AM
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Tip number nine:
Brougth to you by Gorn.

Conjunctions and Fragments.

Fragments are sometimes intentional, but often a writer could just forget to finish a sentence. If you want, you can use fragments, and framents are often useful in poetry, but in many things, especially essays, you could get your grade lowered drastically for using fragments.

Subjects and Verbs are your friends. If you're having difficulty deciding whether a phrase is a sentance or a fragment, then do one of two things.

1) check if it has a subject and verb. Then make sure that at least one of the verbs is not in a prepositional phrase. If so, it is most likely a sentence. But the verb must be done by the subject. remember that.

2) Put the phrase on a diagram. Most people learn how to diagram sentances in school, and it doesn't take too long. If it has the subject and verb, it's a sentance.

See? Simple. ((I think it's okay to put fragments here... but "See?" and "Simple" aren't actual sentances. I am not endorsing fragments... much...))

Remember, if you are writing a story, many people speak fragments. For instance, I wouldn't say "Do you understand this tip?" I would more likely say something like "Understand?" You would know my full meaning. It's fun to make characters speak different dialects and stuff, have them use improper grammar, and stuff like that, but... Do it on an essay, and you're dead... ish...
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Old 03-05-2006, 08:58 PM
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Tip number ten:

How to shorten up those wordy sentences.

Sometimes the most common mistake any writer can make is... well... writing too much.
Wordy sentences aren't necessarily long sentences - they are instead defined by the fact that it's meaning could be stated in fewer words.

Inflated phrases:
This phrase can be cut with little loss to the meaing of the sentece, such as...
along the lines of - like
in the event that - if
in spite of the fact that - though, or although
because of the fact that - because

For example...
We will hire a backup in the event that if our current performer becomes ill.

Redundancies:
Many times people also write redundancies - or say two words back to back that have virtually the same meaning, such as...
true fact
frist instinctive *winks at Panthere Noir*
cooperate together

For example...
Before leaving for their trip, dad told the family to only pack the basic essentials.


When you tighten up sentences, you have a stronger meaning, and your work feels more finished.
So fix up those sentences! I've heard the idea that "less is more" several times - and I'm certainly sticking by it.
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:28 PM
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Well, I would never ever use anything as obviously nonsensical as "cooperate together" - and if I'd had remembered to put a comma between frist and instinctive, I think even that might be argued.

But no, you are right, too much is too much. Even if I sometimes do the too much myself.
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Old 04-21-2006, 12:51 PM
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Let's see if I can help anyone. My stepdad gave these to me. These are older, but important and can help writers.

---
April 21, 2006

ERROR-PROOFING OUR WRITING


Error-PROOFING OUR writing


Occasionally, we may be able to bluff our way through discussions on a number of topics, but we can't fake it when we're writing. People who know the language will expect us to consistently use it correctly. Coworkers, supervisors and others we respect read what is written. They expect our work to be error free. A bad impression can prevent people from respecting us, taking us seriously, and yes even promoting us! Remember, with today’s technology, if it’s in writing, it can be viewed by innumerous individuals, and it can last several lifetimes!

This week we will review some previously discussed topics because some errors continue to occur in writing and in conversation. To paraphrase Dr. Stephen Covey in The 8th Habit - From Effectiveness to Greatness, “If you don’t practice or teach what has been taught to you, you will soon lose that information.”




Comma Splices

Careful writers cringe when they see a comma between two sentences. This error, called a "comma splice," is one of the most serious errors a writer can make.

A comma splice can easily be corrected using one of these four methods:

1) Add an end punctuation mark (period, question mark, or exclamation point). Capitalize the first letter of the first word following the end punctuation mark.

2) Remove the “,” and insert a semicolon.

3) Add a semicolon, a conjunctive adverb, and a comma.

4) Leave the comma, and add a conjunction.

Example:

Comma Splice: Thanks for working today, I really appreciate your dedication.

You have four options available to correct the comma splice.

1) Thanks for working today. I really appreciate your dedication.
2) Thanks for working today; I really appreciate your dedication.
3) Thanks for working today; indeed, I really appreciate your dedication.
4) Thanks for working today, and I really appreciate your dedication.

Conjunctive Adverbs

Conjunctive adverbs are not true conjunctions, but these adverbs often function as conjunctions in joining two independent clauses.

They serve as transitional devices between one main thought and another.

Common Conjunctive Adverbs: accordingly, afterwards, also, consequently, however, indeed, likewise, moreover, nevertheless, nonetheless, so, otherwise, similarly, still, therefore....

Rewrite the below comma splice using the four above-identified methods.

COMMA SPLICE: The boss arrived late, she blamed her tardiness on car trouble
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Old 04-21-2006, 11:07 PM
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Not the best, but helps with a simple task. Here ya go.
-
April 22, 2006

Only



Question: Which is preferred?

He only has one chair.

He has only one chair.



Answer: He has only one chair.



In writing, words such as only, just, even, nearly should appear immediately before the word or words they modify.


Reason: Misplacing these words can cause ambiguity.

Consider the sentence "Judy said she liked me." Moving only around in the sen*tence changes its meaning:

Only Judy said she liked me.

Judy only said she like me.

Judy said only she liked me.

Judy said she only liked me.

Judy said she liked only me.





WORD CHOICE



among: implies a "distribution" involving three or more persons or object with no clear relationship. The lottery money was divided among Oregon's five lucky winners.



between: refers to position or action of two persons or objects, and is also used if there is a "definite relation" between persons or objects. Between you and me, this building will never be completed. Negotiations have broken down between architects, builders and the owner.
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Old 04-22-2006, 11:35 PM
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Not the best, but helps with a simple task. Here ya go.

April 23, 2006

error-proofing our writing

They’re they’re is a contraction of “they are”

Their their is a possessive pronoun that denotes ownership

There there denotes a place

They’re going to regret moving their new car over there.

Words to the Wise:

ANYTIME, you use the word “they’re”, re-read the sentence and insert the words “they are” to ensure that you have used the correct word.

The word “their” is plural and is followed by a noun, i.e. their house, their shoes. It’s used as a modifier to show ownership.

The word “there” can be the most confusing of the three as it can potentially be used as five different parts of speech. From www.dictionary.com

adverb

At or in that place: sit over there.
To, into, or toward that place: wouldn't go there again.
At that stage, moment, or point: Stop there before you make any more mistakes.
In that matter: I can't agree with him there.
pronoun

Used to introduce a clause or sentence: There are numerous items. There must be another exit.
Used to indicate an unspecified person in direct address: Hello there.
adjective

Used especially for emphasis after the demonstrative pronoun that or those, or after a noun modified by the demonstrative adjective that or those: That person there ought to know the directions to town.
noun

That place or point: stopped and went on from there.


interjection

Used to express feelings such as relief, satisfaction, sympathy, or anger: There, now I can have some peace and quiet!
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Old 04-23-2006, 12:18 AM
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haha, rep points to you Oasis for breathing life into this again.
Thanks :]
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Old 04-23-2006, 12:21 AM
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Always, I've got a million of these tips that me and my stepdad go through, even though they aren't exactly that big, some of them are very imformative. So, I'm rewriting them to look nicer and hopefully help people. Thank you
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Old 04-23-2006, 10:44 PM
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Not the best, but helps with a simple task. Here ya go.

April 24, 2006

Verbs:

1. Describes what the subject does in a sentence.

2. Links to words that describe the subject.

Examples:

Prepare an incident report for each inmate involved in the fight. (In commands-the subject you is understood)

We are in the conference room. (indicates location). Bill writes technical proposals. (indicates action). Mario is a Pepsi sales representative. (describes)

A helping verb may be used with a main verb as in the example below:

We are preparing the report. (Preparing is the main verb, indicating action. It is preceded by a form of the helping verb “be”. Some forms of the verb be include is, are, was, were, and will be. “Are” is the helping verb in this sentence.)



Directions: Identify the verb in this sentence and the below examples.

1. The Field Training Officers provides on the job training for new Correctional Officers.

2. Send a copy of the report to the Captain today.

“ing” as a Gerund

A gerund is a word that ends in “ing” and is used only as a noun. A gerund functions in the sentence as a subject or an object.

Bicycling is good exercise. (verb = “is”)

(subject)

Ms. Allen enjoys teaching. (verb= “enjoys”)

(object)

“ing” as a Verb Form

A word ending in ing is a verb if it is directly preceded by some form of the helping verb “be”. Some forms of the helping verb be include is, are, am, were, has been, and will be.

Ms. Allen is teaching a class tomorrow.

The team is bicycling to Pendleton this weekend.
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Old 04-23-2006, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Oasis Writer
Always, I've got a million of these tips that me and my stepdad go through, even though they aren't exactly that big, some of them are very imformative. So, I'm rewriting them to look nicer and hopefully help people. Thank you
wow, where did you find these millions of tips?
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Old 04-23-2006, 10:53 PM
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I get most mine from experence, and my stepdad and I get them together in writing courses and stuff like that. Some are already explanitory, but some are helpful and I know they helped me out. Writing is something that we need to keep working on. So, learning old tricks doesn't make you bad, just makes those tricks sink in deeper.
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Old 04-23-2006, 11:03 PM
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couldn't agree more.
We forget about 80% of what we learn/see/hear/whatever each day anyways, haha. I suppose that "in one ear and out the other" saying is actually true.
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Old 04-23-2006, 11:06 PM
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I can vouch for that, I'm a blonde, and I can't remember anything half the time. Suprisingly, all my stories are from dreams ??!?!?!?!? Weird, but yes. Tomorrow, I'll post another tip.
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