The Elements of Style

Elements of Style is the online version of the classic grammar book by Willian Strunk Jr. You’d think the contents would be out of date, but they are not. If you need help with grammar, this is a good place to start.

Please remember that each publishing house and country may have a different style, so you should always check the guidelines before submitting your work.

Most Common Names

I’ve decided to change the name of my fantasy world.

Firstly, because there is an online fantasy game using the current name and even though I can prove I’ve been using the name for at least 8 years, I don’t want to bother with any legal hassles later on should this story find a publisher.

Secondly, the existing name doesn’t fit with the history. So I have decided to change that. In truth, one man would name the world and I believe he would connect the fantasy world with his past. The logical answer would be that he’ll name the world after his deceased mother and his beloved wife. He will use their christen names to come up with an unusual name for the world. Or, perhaps he’d use the name of his former property which would be a combination of his parents names. Lastly, he might bring his political outlook into play.

Hence, I need to know what the Most Common Names of the early 1600’s were. I will then have to play around with the names until I find two names that (in part) will join together to become the new name of my fantasy world.


I have to find a strange, awkward name that will be the “real” name of the world, but it won’t play a big part of the story and even when the truth is discovered, the characters will continue to use the name they know.

Fantasy World Names

Yesterday I discovered that there’s an online fantasy game which uses the same name as my fantasy world. The fact that the fantasy game’s name describes the land is even more disturbing, because should my novel be published I wouldn’t want anyone to think I stole the name even though I’ve been using it for over 10 years and well before the internet existed.

So what do I do?

I considered changing the name but felt loathe to do so because I haven’t stolen anything and why should I change something that means so much to me?

But then…I came up with another thought (which is dangerous). A few weeks ago, I gave my fantasy world a complete new history. At the time, I never gave the names of the two kingdoms a thought but perhaps this is the time to think on that.

I’ve already got some ideas running around in my mind so I will give this some thought and let you know what I decide to do.


I saw this movie the other night and, unfortunately, I was disappointed with it. Usually I love these types of movie. They are fun to watch but there was something lacking from this one.

I admit that the play on words was amusing but I felt the plot was weak. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood to watch it, I don’t know, but it’s not a movie I’d be eager to see again and I certainly couldn’t recommend it.

Write a Novel

Last year I attended a writing course and made heaps of notes on how to write a novel from the beginning. Several months later, I started a part-by-part series based on what I had learned and what I already know.

Follow the link below to start the mini-course. You’ll learn about ideas and where they come from, what a premise is and how to apply it to your own writing, you’ll be guided with your characterisation and world building, you’ll learn about 3 Act Plans and much more.

I hope you find Planning a Novel from the Beginning useful.

If you have anything you feel should be added, please use the contact form (a link is in the navigation bar above) and let me know.

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    Write, Create & Promote a Best Seller

      The Plague

      Book 3 of my trilogy will deal with the bubonic plague. Although I know a lot about this disease because I’ve already researched it through my love of Medieval times, there are certain facts that I need to know for my book. A friend’s husband, who is a pharmacist, has graciously offered to help me get the facts right. Many thanks go to the Ramseys.

      My main character needs to know the basic facts of The Plague, such as it’s transmitted by rodent fleas. The link provided gives a brief history which will be a great refresher course.

      I’m told that the drug of choice for treatment of the plague is streptomycin (an aminoglycoside antibiotic).

      Aminoglycosides are derived from a type of bacteria – actinomycetes – streptomycetes are one species.

      This link gives more information on streptomyces – found commonly in soil worldwide, and compost – they are easy to culture or grow and can feed on many substances.

      Thank you, Terry, for the above information and all the other details you provided. I now know that my character can cultivate a cure for the plague and take it back to a fantasy world and save some lives. What a relief!

      First Draft

      Today I completed the first draft of my 2005 anthology story. Even though I call it a first draft, it’s a good, clean copy which I feel pleased with. I have to admit that I wrote the entire story during work hours but each and every scene has been thought through a thousand times. I also wrote each scene slowly, going over the details again and again.

      It turned out to be 6,000 words exactly – so there’s room to move if I need to add to it. I’ve just printed it out. I’ll put the copy away for a week or so and then I’ll read through it and make alterations (if required).

      I’m feeling pleased with myself. 🙂