Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Adjectives in Series

If you are a native speaker of English, you understand the order of words in a sentence without too much thought; certain patterns exist that help us make sense of nouns, verbs, adverbs, pronouns, and adjectives in a way that communicates our thoughts clearly. This is called syntax.

River the to going you are? No. Are you going to the river?

Unless you’re Yoda. But he isn’t a native English speaker.

Within those rules of syntax are hidden conventions such as the natural order of adjectives used to describe a noun. Would you say “the yellow smelly old six buckets”? No. A native English speaker would want these words to fall this way: the six smelly old yellow buckets.

Why? And what about commas separating the adjectives?

This is where further analysis reveals tricky little rules and a couple of easy tests to help a writer or editor out.

In English, we generally organize serial adjectives in this order:

1. article (the, a, an)
2. number or quantity
3. observations/ judgments (terrible, stinky, interesting, nice)
4. size
5. shape
6. age (old, new, ancient)
7. color or pattern
8. origin (American, French, Asian)
9. material (cloth, iron, wooden)
10. qualifier, often considered part of the noun (rocking chair, dish soap, soup tureen)

Another example, no commas needed: six dozen long-stemmed red roses

This English for Students website has more information and a great chart to help determine the best order for a series of adjectives—simply plug in the ones you want to use and the order is predetermined. The only missing category is quantity, which we usually express first or just after the article, if one is used.

Once you have your adjectives arranged in the order that sounds best to your English ear, how do you determine if commas are needed between them? In theory, you could write “the twenty creaky little squarish antique green Martian wooden soap boxes” and not need commas. For most purposes, that is far too many adjectives to stick together. However, it illustrates a point. In the correct order, you won’t need commas.

If you use the adjectives “out” of order, perhaps to emphasize one over another, then place commas around the one that is out of order.

The new, cherry, American muscle car (article, age, observation (cherry = cool, neato, keen, awesome, spiffy), origin, qualifier)

If you use two adjectives from the same category (coordinated adjectives), you will need a comma to separate them.

The beautiful, fragrant rose (both observations)

Kim Kautzer at In Our Write Minds shows two ways to test whether you need commas or not by using “and” between them or by reversing the order of the adjectives.

One way to test whether a comma is needed between adjectives is if you can use the word “and” (or other conjunction) without changing the meaning of the phrase.

The beautiful and fragrant rose = yes, so a comma is needed.

“A wealthy business broker” changed to “a wealthy and business broker” = no, so no comma is needed.

A second way to test whether you need a comma is to switch the order of the adjectives. (This method is only practical if you have two or three, rather than all nine types).

The fragrant, beautiful rose = The beautiful, fragrant rose. Yes, a comma is needed.

A business wealthy broker = no; the order cannot be changed and still make sense, so no comma.

May the mysterious, overwhelming gray fog of grammar and comma rules lift for you on this issue.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Good Showing by The Wild Rose Press

For the fourth time in a row, The Wild Rose Press has secured the title of "Best Publisher of the Year" based on voting results from the Preditors and Editors annual poll.  http://www.critters.org/predpoll/final_tally.ht

Not only did we take the top spot for Best Publisher but our very own editor, Laura Kelly also came in first place as Best Editor of the Year.

In addition, Lori Graham held her position as one of the top 10 editors in the field for the third year in a row coming in at number 6 this year.

Under Best Artist - our own Tamra Westberry came in #2 and she also came in #7 for Best Artwork for her cover on "Immortal Justice"

Also in the top spot - our very own romance author Sharon Donovan took first place for her short story in the romance category -  "Charade of Hearts"

KM Daughters - one of our writing teams - took two top ten spots - #4 for Best Romance Novel with "In The St. Nick of Time" and #6 for Best Author.

If I missed anyone - my apologies!  I'm trying to catch all of them but we couldn't be more proud of all the successes!

In the upcoming weeks we should be able to get the little icon that gives us bragging rights and I can't wait to see it on the website for the fourth year running.

Now its back to work and living up to all the accolades.  Happy 2012 indeed!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Boys of Summer - Special Call For Submissions

The Wilder Roses
Call For Submissions

Boys of Summer (Stories to Release May 2012 – Sept 2012)

The boys of summer are ready to turn up the heat. The Wild Rose Press is looking for your hottest m/m erotic stories from 5K to 20K for the Scarlet Rose line. Is your hero sweating on the ball field, ripping up the waves as he hang tens, or is he striker on the soccer field scoring more than goals? We want summer themed stories with hot men in hot situations. Bring the heat and bring the boys of summer.

If you are interested in writing for this series, please email a brief (two paragraph) synopsis of your story idea to diana@thewildrosepress.com. We're looking for stories with strong summer elements and and those that relate to summer activities. In other words, lots of fun in the sun and hot sweaty/wet bodies.We want a variation on summer themes so this will be part of the consideration for stories selected for the series.

Deadline for submission is March 1, 2012.

If you have any questions, contact Diana at diana@thewildrosepress.com.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year in the Garden

A new year and a new outlook.

It’s 2012 and time for change. Whether you want to set new goals or renew those good intentions that just didn’t happen in 2011, the first of the year is a perfect time to make a fresh start.

For me, this year I’m determined to manage my time better. I always use a planner but this year I’m actually going to try to stick to the schedule.

The Wild Rose Press is also making plans and setting new goals. We are looking for tummy-tugging love stories across all the lines. And we have several series that are still actively seeking submissions such as the Millionaire’s Club and other series that are about ready to roll out. So if your goal is to find more time to write, we’ll have some wonderful ideas to inspire you. Check this blog regularly to see our calls for submissions.

The Wild Rose Press is also going to be a several conferences and conventions this year. We hope to see you at EPICon in San Antonio, RT Book Reviews Convention in Chicago and our own writer’s retreat at the Silverspur Ranch in Bandera, Texas.

The holiday season the authors once again contributed their favorite recipes to the Garden Gourmet. This recipe book is our free gift to you. You can download it directly from our website.

We also had a exclusive giveaways through our newsletter. Be sure to sign up for our weekly releases and to receive special offers only for our newsletter subscribers. Click to Join

We want to thank you all for a wonderful 2011 and wish you only the best in 2012!