Are you writing hyphens in the wrong way?

Writing with hyphens can be tricky business. 

As with the word was, hyphens is another Achilles heel. Sometimes I sprinkle hyphens about like scattering rose petals at a wedding. Too many!

  Even some of the grammar programs disagree. But if you’ve ever published an ebook you’ll see what I mean. And a strayed hyphen can get left behind in print books too.

Hyphens can throw off the formatting until the reader becomes confused as to the meaning of the word. Don’t make the reader turn back pages to figure out what’s happening. 

So what to do with compound words?

Hyphen or not to hyphen that is the question.


And the answer can be found in a terrific article by Connie J. Jasperson which is filled with lots of do’s, don’ts and tips. Plus, she provides extensive words to remember. This is a definite bookmark.

What did I learn about using hyphens?

  • Even when using “made up” words, tread carefully.
    • Don’t use unless your make-believe world will explode without it. (Oops)
  • Single words and don’t need a hyphen.
  • Only use a hyphen to ensure the meaning of a word.
    • Like, roundup as in a rodeo, or round up as in a review or the next highest round number
  • Some compounds are improvised to fulfill a specific need.
  • There are permanent compounds and temporary compounds. (Who knew.)
  • When in doubt leave it out. Unless…
    • Your intended meaning is clear without the hyphen, leave it out.
  • Add special words and names to your manuscript style sheet.
    • Especially made up words.
    • This will help ensure consistency in your manuscript.
  • Oh, and a hyphen is not an En dash or an Em dash.

So much is packed in her article, I encourage you to click on her link and read the entire thing.

Hyphens #amwriting By Connie J. Jasperson 


Do you use hyphens Willie-Nillie?

What do you think?

Is this all old stuff to you?


Keep reading, here is another article on using this little devil.

The Punctuation Guide, Hyphen





Name Your Critique Group

The good, bad and ugly of a critique group.

She did it again, provided a wealth of information for writers. So, I just had to pass on these great tips. Click here to read Anne R. Allen’s blog, posted Sunday, August 3, 2014 where she explains the good, bad and ugly of critique groups. Awarded by Writer’s Digest in 2013 as one of the Best Websites for Writers, she never fails to deliver great insight and timely information.

Sometimes we don’t get to pick what type of group is available in our area. Don’t let that discourage you from becoming involved.

As Ms. Allen writes, if you know how to read between the lines, you can benefit from a critique group.

'Young woman sitting on the floor and typing, ...She describes ten groups, and how to glean the best from each leaving a better writer.

Have you ever been crushed by #5) The Punctuation Police?

Ever sat down with a red face after your story was cut to ribbons by #10) The Vicious Circle?

Or wonder how on earth you’d fit in with #4) The Poetry Slam?

Ms. Allen’s post is filled with tips on what to ignore, how to read between the lines and best of all how to come away a better writer.

Read and find out where does your group fall.

I hope y’all enjoy reading her post as much as I did.

Happy writing.

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