The Elements of Style

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Description

Review
“…a marvellous and timeless little book… Here, succinctly, elegantly and without fuss are the essentials of writing clear, correct English.” John Clare, “The Telegraph”

Product Description
“The Elements of Style” is one of the definitive texts on all elements of English language style, usage, and composition. Strunk covers such topics as “elementary Rules of Usage,” “Elementary Principles of Composition,” “A Few Matters of Form,” “Words and Expressions Commonly Misused,” and “Words Often Misspelled.”

From the Back Cover
Some acclaim for previous editions:

“Buy it, study it, enjoy it. It’s as timeless as a book can be in our age of volubility.”
— The New York Times

“No book in shorter space, with fewer words, will help any writer more than this persistent little volume.”
— The Boston Globe

“White is one of the best stylists and most lucid minds in this country. What he says and his way of saying it are equally rewarding.”
— The Wall Street Journal

“The book remains a nonpareil: direct, correct, and delightful.”
— The New Yorker

“. . . Should be the daily companion of anyone who writes for a living, and for that matter, anyone who writes at all.”
— Greensboro (N.C.) Daily News

“This excellent book, which should go off to college with every freshman, is recognized as the best book of its kind we have.”
— St. Paul Dispatch – Pioneer Press

“It’s hard to imagine an engineer or a manager who doesn’t need to express himself in English prose as part of his job. It’s also hard to imagine a writer who will not be improved by a liberal application of The Elements of Style.”
— Telephone Engineer & Management
About the Author
William Strunk, Jr. first used his own book, The Elements of Style, in 1919 for his English 8 course at Cornell University. The book was published in 1935 by Oliver Strunk.

E. B. White was a student in Professor Strunk’s class at Cornell, and used “the little book” for himself. Commissioned by Macmillan to revise Strunk’s book, White edited the 1959 and 1972 editions of The Elements of Style.

Write Dazzling Dialogue

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Description
There is one sure-fire way of improving your novel fast. . .

You may know the fundamentals of how to write fiction. You may be more than competent in plot, structure and characters. But if your dialogue is dull it will drag the whole story down.

On the other hand, if your dialogue is crisp and full of tension it immediately grabs the reader. And if that reader is an agent or editor, sharp dialogue will give them instant assurance that you know what you’re doing as a writer.
Writing a bestseller or hot screenplay is no easy task, but dazzling dialogue is an absolute essential if you want to get there.

The best part is, the skills of the dialogue craft are easy to understand and put into practice. #1 bestselling writing coach James Scott Bell has put together and expanded upon the dialogue lectures from his popular writing seminars. In How to Write Dazzling Dialogue you’ll learn:

What fictional dialogue is … and isn’t

The 11 secrets of crafting memorable dialogue

The 5 essential tasks of dialogue

5 ways to improve your dialogue ear

4 can’t-miss methods to increase conflict and tension in any dialogue exchange

The top 10 dialogue issues, and how to resolve them

You’ll also see dazzling dialogue in action with examples from hit novels and screenplays.

Don’t sabotage your chances of selling your work to readers or publishers because the dialogue is unexceptional. Dazzle them with what the characters say. How to Write Dazzling Dialogue will give you the tools to do it.

Amir.H.Ghazi

My first short story

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PARASOMNIA

High school was far different from middle school. The lessons had become more complicated and there was no trace of those permissive teachers. Instead serious teachers -most of them were strict men- had this burden to teach freshmen. But Miss Olson was none of them. She was a good-hearted woman at her thirty, and the bra she wore was stood out under her white dress. She was busy writing words in her firm, no-nonsense script.

The classroom was hushed and sleepy. Allen was sitting in the second row with his hands folded neatly on the desk. He had heard rumours from older students about Miss Olson over the lunch table that almost half of the school’s staffs had asked her out and she had rejected them one by one.

“Well,” She clapped her hands together. Her lips wearing a smile which could melt any man’s heart.
Allen pushed the thought away.

“Who can guess who’s the poet?” she asked and eyed the class in search of a raising hand. The hot September sun glistened on her glasses and made it impossible for Allen to catch Miss Olson’s eyes for a moment.

“William Shakespeare,” a tremulous voice said from the back row. “He lived in the sixteenth century, and was a playwright and actor, too.”

Allen craned his neck and caught a glimpse of Emily White’s pimple-free, overweening face. She looked at him and gave him a haughty smile.
Miss Olson pointed out at Emily. “We’ve got a genius girl here, thanks, Emily”.

A snort of laughter escaped from Bob who was sitting next to Allen. Miss Olson dropped a threatening look at him and the laughter began to dry up.

Allen stared down at graffiti scratched on his desk. Someone had written a nice! piece for the physic teacher in sprawled letters.

That old McCain is a fucking psychopath

His eyes widened. He spent rest of the class struggling to scratch out the name from the desk.

The yard was a hell of students. Girls were giggling at a little boy whose fly was unzipped and the boy would pass in front of them, blushing up to his ears. In one corner, a fat guy had been gripping another guy’s arms so stringently behind him that balls of his shoulders stood out through his shirt.

Allen felt a tap on his shoulder. It was Bob. He sat beside Allen and brushed the hair off his forehead. He also had noticed the bullying guy.

“Everything’s going well?” Bob said.

“Thinking of tonight,” he said, his face tightened in a momentary wince, then relaxes.

“You seem nervous. I told you before and I tell you again that there’s nothing to worry about”.
” I hope so, but—“

“I’ve works to do now. I must exchange some cards with Steve. He says he’s the complete collection of the Red Sox team…well… see you tonight.”

Allen watched him as he brushed by Mr Hanning and started down the hall to the boys’ lavatory. The he rested his head against the stone bench and looked up at the sky above that was turning to lavender.
The night was overcast but not rainy, mild for late September. Overhead, a quarter moon was struggling to make its way through the cloud cover. The clock struck 10 o’clock downstairs. Allen had lied in his bed, his arms tucked under his head, waiting for the signal from Bob.

Outside the wind gusted. He shuffled toward the window and looked out at the street. The room was total darkness except for the fitful yellow glow of the blinker half a block up the street.

Allen narrowed his eyes and saw a figure on the other side of the road. It was impossible to guess what it was. Then Bob stepped toward and Allen recognized him. He was wearing a black jacket and a jean. Allen waved a hand to him and went down to the living room. His mother had gone to bed two hours earlier. He stepped out into the street. Bob was standing there with hands in his jean’s pockets.

“You should’ve been here by twelve, it’s ten now,” Allen said.

Bob opened his mouth but instead of words stream of cold air puffed out.

“Cat got your tongue?” Allen protested.

Bob limped toward him. Allen smelled something that he was utterly unable to describe- a sort of smell that was rotten and repulsive at the same time-  something dead. The word formed in the back of his mind in a sudden flash.

A half smile crept across Bob’s face. “It’s getting cold, better to move your ass,” he said, his voice sounded grave and guttural.

Mrs Kelly’s famous house was located on the farthest part of the town, at the foot of Moore Hill. During the journey, Allen rethought of the plan over and over.
“We enter the house, you will watch the road and I’ll pick up those silvers just as much as we need,” Allen said. Then he emphasized his last words. Bob wasn’t speaking.

Allen peeked at him and noticed how his breaths wheezed and screamed. He was limping in an awkward way and Allen for a moment thought that it was as if someone had removed his right leg from its socket and then reattached it improperly.

“Are you all right, Bob?”

He just nodded.

They kept moving. The temperature had been dropped significantly since they started. Allen’s stomach felt bloated and suddenly as still as death. Spots danced in front of his eyes. He took in a deep breath and then let it out. His stomach was settling back down a little. Cold sweat rolled down his neck and spine and for a moment, he wished to be at home, sweet home as the saying is.

Half an hour later they found themselves in front of the big house. They barely could see the minute details of it. Again, sickness was rolling through his belly in gripping, peristaltic waves. His hands squeezed into fists. The house was guarded by graceful oaks that had stood for two hundred years. Loons were crying in the far distance. They went onto the porch. The boards creaked and squeaked under their weights. He grabbed the freezing doorknob metal. Coldness dug into his palms and reached his bones and made him shiver.

He blew out his cheeks and stamped the door open. A soggy smell wafted from inside and filled their nostrils. He looked at Bob whose blank eyes had been fixed on the doorway.

“You better watch the road,” Allen said. Then he entered the house. He waited until his eyes adjusted to the living hall. His hands scrabbling around on the wall feeling for the light switches. Finding the light switches, he flicked them. Nothing happened. He delves into his pockets, comes up with a flashlight. He glanced back at his company over his shoulder. Bob was sitting on the porch steps, his head lowered down between his knees.

Allen observed the living hall in the weak beam of his flashlight. The furniture was untouched since the death of old Mrs Kelly. Her bedroom was on the second floor. Think of all those jewellery. The voice whirled in his head. His heart beat crazily against his ribcage, his temples throbbed. Allen rolled his shoulders and stepped up the stairs. He staggered, but he grabbed the railing in time. He stopped at the corridor. A weak ringing rose from his hip pocket. He reached his pockets and took out his cell phone and pushed the green button.

A feminine voice began to talk in choked, gasped, shaking tone. It was Dori, Bob’s mother.
“Allen,” she paused, “it’s about Bob”. She was on the verge of crying. “He had an accident when he was…he was on the way to your house”.

There were stamping steps behind him on the stairs. One could clearly realize that the owner of the footsteps suffered limping. Allen’s chest rose and fell with rapid breaths. His eyes were going to jump out of their sockets and hung on his cheeks. He lowered his hand, now he could hear weak cackling voice coming out of the cell phones’ speakers. It was far and dreamy.

The smell of fresh blood was heavy and coppery in the cold air. Fear seized him. Death was in the house, ready to devour him into the darkness. Allen returned and momentarily he was losing his balance. Strength had drained away from his knees. He jerked his glance from the ex-live-Bob’s face, but a strange inhuman power was forcing him to stare. Tear prickled his eyes.

Allen gaped at him. Bob’s face was paper white. Blood pouring down his –its- dislocated leg and darkened his jeans. A tiny roll of blood oozed down from the corner of his mouth and struck the boards in dime-sized drops.

The archaic clock in the hall struck. The ringing sound filled the empty corridor and crept into Allen’s ears. He closed his eyes and threw up. It seemed to come all the way from his heels, convulsing his stomach like a sick fist. A dozen afterimages of Bob whirled blackly before his eyes. The last heave had brought up little more than mucus and salty saliva.

He opened his eyes again. Outside, the wind gusted. Overhead, a quarter moon was struggling to make its way through the cloud cover. He sensed the cool and smooth mattress against his sweaty skin. Allen sat up by one elbow. Then he got up and went toward the window, dazzled. He rested his throbbing forehead against the frigid window and recalled the nightmare vividly. The yellow blinker light seemed purple behind his eyelids. A truck roared and passed the intersection. Allen looked up and his heart didn’t beat for a second. He drew back his breath. On the other side of the street, in the darkness, Bob had stood with his hands tucked into his pockets, staring up at him.

This was my first short story ( I was 17)

What do you think about it?

Hope yu enjoy the story:)

Amir.H.Ghazi

Tips for self-publishing your book

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If you want to be a successful self-published author, here are 10 tips that you should pay close attention to:

1) In addition to following this site, join self-published and/or Indie writer’s groups both on and offline. Go to your favorite search engine (notice how I didn’t automatically assume you ‘Google’ everything?), and type in “Independent Writers Group” or “Self Published Writers Group” and watch the world come alive! These are the ‘doers’ of the world, and you can get plenty of advice on anything and everything you ever wanted to know about self-publishing but were afraid to ask. And you don’t need to wait until you have a book out to join! Join now…watch, ask, and be informed.

2)I know this is subjective, but please write a good book! There is too much crap cluttering cyberspace as it is, so put your heart into your book. If you feel you have done your best, then that is all a man can ask.

3)You need to have a good title and a good cover. Remember that last comment about cybercrap? Well if you want to stand out amongst them, do yourself a favor and create an eye-appealing, professional-looking cover. Your cover should not only look good large, but it should catch the eye when it is set as a thumbnail, because if you sell online it’s likely that people will only see a thumbnail of your book.

4)Have your book proofread! You can have a great book, but if it is filled with typos and grammatical errors, guess what comments will be left on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, etc.? Do yourself a favor, even if you can’t afford to pay a lot for a professional, you should be able to 1) use spellcheck and 2) ask a friend or family member to take a look. A new set of eyes will go a long way.

5)BEFORE you hit the “go” button to get 1,000,000 copies printed, be sure to get a proof of your book first! Getting a proof is different from having it proofread. Once your book is finished and at the printer of your choice, request or purchase a copy of it before it goes into full production. When your proof arrives give it a thorough looksy. This is your labor of love, if something doesn’t look right, change it. Better make those changes now than having a garage full of books with your name spelled wrong.

6)Make sure the Price is Right! No, I’m not talking about the television game show with Drew Carrey. It’s important to make sure that your book is priced appropriately. If you are using a Print on Demand service such as CreateSpace, they will kind of force your hand by telling you the minimum price you can sell your book for. Anything about that should become profit for you. But don’t get crazy.

If you are selling an eBook, keep in mind that the “sweet spot” for eBooks is usually around $2.99. You may consider starting at .99 cents, letting your book get a little momentum then gradually increasing it to $1.99, then $2.99. If you are selling on Amazon, familiarize yourself with their Royalty policy since they have 35% and 70% rates.

7)Unlike at a bookstore or in a library, online potential buyers can’t thumb through your book so they will rely on other people’s reviews. Solicit reviews on Amazon.com. How? Easy, send free copies to anyone who may have an interest in your genre or topic (including family or friends) and ask that they write a review at Amazon. Getting reviews will help with your book ranking. If Amazon sees that people are reviewing your book, they will rank it higher.

8)And no matter what site you use to sell your book, make sure that your book description and your publisher’s comments are well thought out. Potential buyers will also look to these areas to decide whether they will buy your book or not. If the description doesn’t provide them with enough information on your book, they may likely pass on it. This is especially true when you don’t have many reviews.

9)Create a website for your book (or better yet, yourself!), and link it to any of the places that you may sell your book. Now that you are a self-published author, you are a brand, and no brand is complete without its own website.

10)Market, Market, MARKET! How can you sell your book if they don’t know it exists? There are 1001 ways to market, so find the best ways for your book. And don’t just think online, think offline marketing as well! I will have quite a few posts about marketing, so stay tuned.

Amir.H.Ghazi

The Black House

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Twenty years ago, a boy named Jack Sawyer travelled to a parallel universe called The Territories to save his mother and her Territories “twinner” from a premature and agonizing death that would have brought cataclysm to the other world. Now Jack is a retired Los Angeles homicide detective living in the nearly nonexistent hamlet of Tamarack, WI. He has no recollection of his adventures in the Territories and was compelled to leave the police force when an odd, happenstance event threatened to awaken those memories.

When a series of gruesome murders occur in western Wisconsin that are reminiscent of those committed several decades earlier by a real-life madman named Albert Fish, the killer is dubbed “The Fisherman” and Jack’s buddy, the local chief of police, begs Jack to help his inexperienced force find him. But is this merely the work of a disturbed individual, or has a mysterious and malignant force been unleashed in this quiet town? What causes Jack’s inexplicable waking dreams, if that is what they are, of robins’ eggs and red feathers? It’s almost as if someone is trying to tell him something. As that message becomes increasingly impossible to ignore, Jack is drawn back to the Territories and to his own hidden past, where he may find the soul-strength to enter a terrifying house at the end of a deserted track of forest, there to encounter the obscene and ferocious evils sheltered within it.

Amir.H.Ghazi

The Last Sherlock Holmes Story

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For fifty years after Dr Watson’s death, a packet of papers, written by the doctor himself, lay hidden in a locked box. The papers contained an extraordinary report of the case of Jack the Ripper and the horrible murders in the East End of London in 1888. The detective, of course, was the great Sherlock Holmes – but why was the report kept hidden for so long? This is the story that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never wrote. It is a strange and frightening tale . . .

Amir.H.Ghazi

Today’s hot book

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The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

Release Date: November 3rd, 2015

Stephen has delivered a generous collection of stories, several of them brand-new, featuring revelatory autobiographical comments on when, why, and how he came to write (or rewrite) each story.

Magnificent, eerie, utterly compelling, these stories comprise one of Stephen’s finest gifts to the constant reader—“I made them especially for you,” says King. “Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth.”