The Basics

Let’s take a look at some of the basics of writing, boys and girls.

The first thing I want to mention today is the proper use of punctuation. Specifically, apostrophes. You know, those things that look like ‘ …that thing. There are two primary purposes for an apostrophe. The first is to take the place of other letters in a contraction. Examples include it’s, where the apostrophe takes the pace of the i in what would have been the word is. Instead of it is, the apostrophe jumps in and turns two words into one. It’s.

The second primary function of the apostrophe is to denote possession. By putting an apostrophe at the end of a noun, usually (but not exclusively) people’s names. (See what I did, there?) Possession can be tricky, though. To use the possessive for an object, there is no apostrophe at all. It’s possession, and is its own exception to the rule. The first in that sentence, with the apostrophe, is a contraction, like we discussed before. The second, without the apostrophe, is possessive. That’s usually the exception to the rule, though.

One thing an apostrophe is never EVER used for is a plural indicative. Never, EVER, use an apostrophe with an S at the end of a word that you intend to make plural. It’s just wrong. Don’t do it. EVER. For example, the plural for the word photo is photos. No apostrophe. Simply ask yourself the question: Is it a contraction (where two words are mashed together removing one or more letters) or is it a possessive? If the answer is “No. It’s plural.” you know not to use it.

Like I said, it’s tricky sometimes. But if you want to be taken seriously as an author, write with an eye toward getting it right.

Commas are also pretty important. They break up sentences in some pretty important ways.
“I enjoy eating my children and my pets.”
“I enjoy eating, my children, and my pets.”
Use commas. Don’t be a cannibalistic monster.

Next, let’s look at perspectives. The first person perspective is when you write something as if, well, as if YOU’RE telling a story, usually in the past tense. One of the best books ever written is Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” If you haven’t read it, you should. That book is written in the first person, from the point of view of the Indian, as if he’s telling you the story directly. “I did this,” or “I saw that.” The last line of the book is “I been away a long time.”

The first person can be a powerful tool in a successful writer’s arsenal, but it has to be done right. If not, a story comes across like “Fun with Dick and Jane.” Dick threw the ball. Jane bought a dress. See Spot run. Done wrong, the first person can ruin what might have otherwise been a pretty good story.

In second person perspective, You’re still doing the talking, but you’re addressing somebody directly, like I did just now. It’s when you’re telling somebody something in the here and now, in the present tense. “Class, you need to take your seats, because this lesson is going to be very important.” Again, it can be effective, mostly if you’re writing a self-help book.

The third party perspective is written with the author as a detached observer, never referring to him/herself directly. The most widely used perspective, the third person is about the characters in the story. Using the third person allows the writer complete objectivity and freedom to tell the whole story. In either the first or second person, the author has a personal investment in what’s going on. In the third person, the writer isn’t personally attached, and can explore every nuance of the story impartially, allowing the reader to form his or her own opinion.

If you write something (book, poem, blog, anything) starting off in the first person, be sure to stick with it. Same thing with tenses. If you start off in the present tense, don’t switch to past tense mid-stream. If you switch from “I’m doing this” to “She did that” in the middle of a paragraph, you might come across looking like a clueless eejit with a serious case of MPD.

Equally important, if not more so, is making sure that your editors and publishers have a grasp on these basic fundamentals. Even if you don’t catch all the mistakes, it’s up to your editor, and ultimately, your publisher to catch every single one. If they’ve demonstrated time and time again that they can’t even get the basics right, you might want to keep looking until you find ones that can.

Good luck, and have fun.


7 thoughts on “The Basics

  1. I appreciate the information. One of the many reasons spell-check is my friend. Fortunately for me I am just a writer of poetry. Or I would seriously need help.

  2. Scabby Assy never gets it right does she, in her books or on her stupid blog? They got awfully quiet over there haven’t they? The stupid minger must be busy stuffing her fat gob or shoving a fist up her twat.

    • She’s been busy all right. She’s sneaking out republications of anthologies, true to form, trying to fly under the radar while she rips her authors off. What she’s got her fingers in is people’s pockets, still publishing work from authors that left her when the company was still called Mystic Press. She’s still using their names on her website, still got their faces plastered all over her social media, still USING them even though they’ve left her. She’s got them convinced that their old contracts carried over. But what they need to realize is that THOSE CONTRACTS AREN’T LEGAL. They never were. Those authors can rip those contracts up and wipe their ass with them. They can demand that she stop using their names, their faces and their work to not only pad her bogus, illegal company, but to keep selling THEIR work and putting the money in HER pocket.

      Don’t be scammed, authors. Tell her to stuff those contracts up her butt sideways. There’s room for ’em. Take your work, your image and your reputation and LEAVE. There’s not a single thing she can do to you.

      • That lame ass twit won’t stop until a officer of the law knocks on her door and places the shiny bracelets on her pudgy wrists. She still thinks in her pathetic mind that she isn’t doing anything wrong. ” So what I take advantage of people, so what I steal. If they don’t care, why should I?” This is her mentality, and you know what, in that speaking she is right. I say this because it has been proven many, many times of how she does things. And still there are people who refuse to see the light, or are too blinded by her bullshit. Hello, if there was a lawyer I know of a few that she would have tried to have sued, the contracts aren’t legal. The lawyer is a lie. Look people no matter how much glitter you pour on shit it is still shit. If a company is “bought” out, new contracts for the new company are issued. That is it. Now lets say Tabetha is covering her ass, and after reading this I am going to bet that she runs to do this. Lets say for shits and giggles that she issues a new contract for the l-e-g-i-t authors. I say ladies and gents, read that contract carefully. See how closely they match to your old MP/PF contracts. I know for a fact when you change a company over, even if its a name change or being bought out, you have to file documents to the IRS, you need a new tax I.D. number. Also if the business was bought out all legal and proper as Tabetha and “Destiny” say there would be sale information as public knowledge. I do have one question that has been irking the shit out of me though. Maybe someone can explain. Salena says she introduced Tabetha to Destiny, but according to Destiny’s public page, she lives in Cali. Am I wrong in thinking something is fishy in Waco? Since it is public knowledge that Tabetha can’t leave her home area for a while, and there is no way she went to Cali. Also people pay attention to this the DS weebly submission page. All submissions at this time are electronic, now why is that? Why not send directly to the company? I will tell you. It is easy for those submissions to “not show up” and then wait, your works will end up as someone else’s writing. I am not telling you to stop chasing your dreams, what I am saying is be careful who you share your dreams with. I know how upsetting it can be to watch someone hurt over being used by Tabetha. I know how upset and defeated of a feeling that is. She can say what she wants about how her family was affected by this blog. Ask yourself this, how many authors families felt her hurting ways? How many of the authors family members seen them in tears, crying, felling distraught, worthless and not wanting to put pen to paper? Yet here is Tabetha dancing and living it up. New company, new chapter in her life as the others lay dying on the road. Not caring who she hurts or buries along the way. Now tell me this, who do you want to be? The one who stops her from hurting or the one who helps her continue? You decide!!!

      • If there was a sale, there would be a paper trail. There is none.

        If Dark Storm existed as a legal and legitimate company, it would be registered with the state. It is not. Neither California nor Texas has any record of any such company.

        I’ve seen the contracts that DS is using. One of the most telling things about it is that it still contains Tab’s separation fee of $125.

        I can also tell you what’s NOT on the contracts: The physical address of the “company.” And guess what? That makes it ILLEGAL.

        The reason they only accept E-submissions is simple: if they accepted paper submissions, authors would have to send them to Tabetha’s address in Waco. She’s at the same address, just like the phone number for DS is Tab’s number.



        As long as people fall for it, she feels justified in ripping them off. Just like a serial killer feels justified killing a victim that was stupid enough to get in their car, like Ted Bundy. It’s their own fault for falling for it. And, like Bundy, Tab has absolutely no empathy for the people she victimizes. Their money is her money, and she feels absolutely no guilt about taking it by any means. Whether she rips off royalties, begs authors for money to pay for her computer or buy her kid shoes, she’ll take it.

        There aren’t as many people falling for it as she’d like the public to think, though. Just like she did with Mystic Press and Phoenix Fire, she’s using fake names to bolster her roster. Hell, many of them are the same names. Those of us around from the MP days know that Tab was Anna Lovelace. Then she “gave” that name to Emily. Then, when she left, Emily gave it back. So now who’s using it? There it is, on the roster, along with all the other fakes.

        There are a few real names on there. A couple who either haven’t caught on to what a scam she is, like that NY city lawyer (who she says did her contracts), and a few that she’s got believing that the contracts “carried over” so she can still use their work, their name and their image even though they’ve parted ways with her.

        Think about that.

        Even after you leave her, she still uses your name and your work.

        She didn’t pay you when you were an active client victim. What makes you think you’ll get paid after you leave? You won’t. And if you think you will, I’d lay even odds that you are mistaken.

        If she’s still using your work, you need to realize that those “contracts” of hers didn’t carry over. They were never legal to begin with. You need to protect your work and your reputation and rip that thing up. You can demand that your work is removed from her ability to sell it, and that includes your contributions to anthologies. Stop letting that fraud use you, laughing in your face and tipping her finger at you as she continues to use you to pad her pockets.

        I’m sorry, but it steams me to see people that are unwilling to defend themselves.

  3. Update:

    As of June, 2016, Tabetha Jones has no publishing companies in operation that we know about, so our investigation of her has been halted. The point of examining her in the first place was to advocate for authors that reported no royalties and other related abuse from her. If she’s not involved with publishing anymore, that job’s done.

    The posts about her remain in public view in case she starts a new one in the future.

    If more publishing concerns about Tabetha Jones (Willis, Farmer Hoover, Saulters, etc) – AKA Zooey Sweete, Emerald Rai Fleurs, et al – arise in the future, we will post relevant updates. But for now, we’re focusing on happier topics.


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