Misplaced Modifiers … and more

“The editor told me on Thursday I have a book signing.”

This sentence is unclear. Did the editor say this on Thursday, or do you have a book signing on Thursday? Better to reword to something like the following:

“On Thursday, the editor told me I have a book signing.” Or:
“The editor told me I have a book signing on Thursday.”

For more about misplaced modifiers, as well as other PUGS Pointers, read on

WHY POLISH YOUR PUGS? Details are important.

How much time and effort have you put into the other aspects of your writing? Is your manuscript not worth polishing? If your craft was pottery, would you go to the effort of creating a beautiful pot and then not varnish it? If you made an afghan, would you not tie off the last row? If you sewed a garment, would you not finish the seams and hems?

And if you did create something without finishing it properly, would you put out your unfinished craft for sale to strangers, expecting people to pay you for it?


Quotation Marks with Other Punctuation

1. Closing quotation marks always come after a comma or period. Example:

ACFW held workshops on “Characterization,” “Point of View,” and “Floating Body Parts.”

2. Placement depends on whether the punctuation is part of the sentence as a whole or part of the quotation in particular. Examples:
Candy asked, “Do you know the way?”

How can we motivate teenagers who continually say, “I don’t care”?

Tiffany shouted, “Fire!”

I can’t believe he said, “Your story is boring”!



advice (noun) is a suggestion or recommendation.
Cec gave me excellent advice about publishing my book.

advise (verb) means “to suggest or recommend.”
Frani advised me to strengthen the conflict in my romance novel.

Misplaced Modifiers

The position of a modifier determines what thing or action is being modified. Example:

“Sharon sent out a proposal for her book on living with horses last week.”

Sharon’s proposal wasn’t for a book about “living with horses last week.” Reword:

“Last weekSharon sent out a proposal for her book on living with horses.”


divorcé (a divorced man)
divorcée (a divorced woman)

fiancé (a man engaged to be married)
fiancée (a woman engaged to be married)

For Articles: The AP Stylebook does not use accent marks over the e’s in fiance and fiancee.

dangling modifiers