Monday, October 26, 2009

A and The

Read through seven chapters today and edited, so very little word count change.

Writing tip: Some people do not realize the difference between the articles a and the. If my character takes a candle from the table that implies he chose from several, maybe just two, but he did have to choose. If the character takes the candle from the table, there was only one. That seems elementary to me, but I play with words all day. Also, if there are rows of keys on the jailroom wall, and the character takes a key, that implies he might not know which one is the right one. If he takes the key from among many, he knows it is the key he wants.


  1. I hadn't thought of that. I suppose the "a" vs "the" is a good way to drop hints of description in without stopping the story for long paragraphs.

    I just finished Wayne Thomas Batson and Chrisopher Hopper's book "The Curse of the Spider King." In it, a student does a project on your book "The Vanishing Sculptor"! I laughed when I saw them mixing the real world with the story world so neatly. That, I think, can be another interesting writing technique--though I think you'd have to have the permission of the other author to use their work in such a manner.

  2. I love to write, but I always used to make the mistake of using "a" instead of "the". Strangely enough, it was French class that helped me understand the difference.... yay for the torture of learning definite and indefinite articles!!!