Another hint are all those helpful FAQs on the blog page: Frequently Asked Questions
Now, (drum roll, please) here comes HINT # 3:
Those of you who are feverishly creating fan stories for the blog can see what you sent me originally and how they actually LOOK when "fixed and formatted." You will notice I fix your spelling and punctuation mistakes, I indent, and I smooth things out when needed. A wise, would-be writer might want to compare their original fan story to the "published" one, after an editor (yours truly) gets hold of it. I will not be "editing" any contest stories until after the contest is over and I am compiling them for the book. But the easier a story is to read, the better off you are. So . . . read and learn!
Here is an example of how important certain punctuation marks are, for example. Here is a sentence written two times. Once without a teensy comma, and once with a teensy comma. Notice the sentences mean two totally different things!
|A giant mom!|
"God can take care of a giant mom."
"God can take care of a giant, mom."
Don't laugh, but honestly, I just came across this in a story I am editing (not any of yours. This is an outside job). I had to read it twice before figuring out--AUGH! Comma needed! In the first sentence, the reader thinks we're talking about a "giant mom." In the second sentence, the girl is talking to her MOM about how God can take care of a giant (i.e. referring to David and Goliath).
I love to teach writing. Would anybody like a new category called "Let's Write!" where I answer questions about good/poor writing and how to improve your stories and other writing-related projects . . . not just necessarily "Andi" projects?