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Sharon J's Writing Blog
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Modern Extra
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Does anybody know where one can find the guidelines for the ModX line? I can't see them on either M&B or eHarlequin but surely they must be somewhere? Or do you have to already be writing for HMB to write for ModX? No, that doesn't make sense because, as far as I know, Julie Cohen wasn't.

Anybody? Pretty please? With a cherry on the top?

Still busy editing. I'm gonna try getting the first three chapters polished up today so that I can send them off asap, but that depends on what else happens today.

It's my daughter's 20th birthday so she'll be phoning (it's free for her to call me from Norway so she does most of the calling) and that generally means at least an hour's conversation. Richard's planning a bbq and I'm hoping to get to the spooky church tonight (that's our local Spiritualist Church, for those of you who don't know). Will there be enough time left for editing? Watch this space...

Do you ever feel uncertain when it comes to punctuating your dialogue? I mean, Should you use a capital to start your speech tag when the dialogue ended with something other than a comma? As in:

"Could you pass me that towel?" she asked.


"Watch out!" shouted Jane.

I haven't used capitals, but is that right? Yes? No? Are you sure?

And what about that end comma; should it be inside the quotation marks or not?

"I like that," he said.
"I like that", he said.

Which is correct?

And how do you deal with multi-paragraph quotes? Should you use a new quotation mark at the start of each paragraph or not?

And how about when you're quoting something somebody else said within your dialogue?

If it's all too much for you and you're no longer sure you've been getting it right, take a look at Punctuating Dialogue. It's written by Marg Gilk (whoever she may be) and, unless you're 100% certain of what you're doing, is definitely worth a look.


Technorati Tags: Mills & Boon, Punctuation, Writing Tips, Writing Dialogue
Posted by Sharon J on 1:03 PM   

Blogger Karen Erickson said...

Sharon! Go to, and at the bottom of the site, there's a link for writing guidelines. They're in there.

Gonna attempt one? I love that line!

6:49 PM   

Anonymous Sharon J said...

Blimey, Karen. Where have I been? I was there yesterday and couldn't see it! Doh! Got it now, though. Cheers :)

Am I gonna attempt one. Good question. To be honest, I don't know. I have an idea for a story that I think would fit the line but it'll have to wait until after this Tender's finished. But like I've said, I already have two other stories rattling around wanting to be written so I'm really not sure what's gonna happen. Maybe I should just put them all in a hat and pull out a name?

10:49 PM   

Anonymous Julie Cohen said...

I'm sure you found it, but just in case:

I was writing for Temptation, and then it became Modern Extra. Good luck if you decide to give it a go!

You posted a question on the M&B editors thread on eharl about titles (which is why I wended my way here). It's true that the editors change the titles pretty regularly and what you choose would be in no way permanent. BUT your title is one of your marketing ploys, like a synopsis. It can catch the attention of an editor and convey a lot in a very short time. So while a title probably doesn't make too much difference in the end, it could just get your ms that extra spark of interest.

That's my impression, though the editors may say something different!

Hooray for your submission and good luck!

6:28 AM   

Anonymous Sharon J said...

I did find it, Julie, thanks.

I was planning to have those first three packaged up and sent off today but if I need a title, that's not going to happen. I'm hopeless at them (also for my articles) so will probably spend at least another week trying to think up something suitable.

Oh well. Thanks for taking the time to try to help. 'Tis much appreciated.

8:40 AM   

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