Director’s Corner: Participial Phrases

Jeanne Cavelos is the director of the Odyssey Writing Workshop. She was a senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell, where she worked for eight years, editing the fantasy/science fiction program, the Abyss horror line, and other fiction and nonfiction. Jeanne is also the bestselling author of seven books and numerous short stories and articles. She has won the World Fantasy Award and twice been nominated for the Stoker Award.


Beginning a sentence with a participial phrase is usually jarring and awkward. If you don’t really know what a participial phrase is, you can often spot one by looking for an -ing verb. You won’t find -ing verbs only in participial phrases, but that will be a warning sign, and then you can investigate further. Here’s an example: Continue reading “Director’s Corner: Participial Phrases”

Writing Tip: Punctuation

Sadly, there will be no podcast for the month of August, but rather than leave you with a week of nothing, we thought we would share some of the writing tips found on the Odyssey website. Please enjoy.


Writing Tip: Punctuation

We’ll start with a very basic issue. Punctuation. I know, you were hoping for something more glamorous. But tough. This is important. Many developing writers feel that since they’re being creative, they can be creative with their punctuation. A comma goes where it feels right, right?

But nothing turns off an editor faster than incorrect grammar or punctuation. Continue reading “Writing Tip: Punctuation”