Chryse Wymer on Colons – Writing Tips

I would like to welcome Chryse Wymer today. She’s here to help us understand colons a little better. Thank you for joining me, Chryse.

Many thanks to the illustrious Alicia Dean for allowing me to guest post on my favorite topic: colons. I was introduced to her work through a friend who assured me that it was worth the read, and I was pleasantly surprised at the writing quality and storytelling—I’m just not much on romance books or those heavy on the romantic subplots. But I’m glad I gave it a go.

Why I’m here: this month, I’ll be hopping along from blog to blog to share my knowledge on the nuts and bolts of great writing. I am a copy editor, proofreader, and author—published both traditionally and independently. I’m also raffling off Amazon gift cards to get you started on your editing bookshelves. You can contact me at, or, for more information, visit: At the previous site, I’ll also be keeping a list of the blogs I’ve visited and the subject matter I’ve shared. The giveaway starts December 1st and ends January 1st.

Let’s get to it.

COLONS – Part Two

The first few paragraphs below are repeated from my last post; there are reasons for that: one snippet is quite important, and the video is helpful. If you have a handle on the basics, in my opinion, it’s easier to understand the specifics. I would also urge you to read the previous post on Kriss Morton’s blog: It thoroughly details the main colon usage that a fiction writer will employ.

I want to reiterate, again, that colons and semicolons are often misused. The semicolon stops the forward movement of a statement while a colon marks a forward movement, often emphasizing it.

Colons promise the completion of something just begun.

The following video is, in my opinion, helpful in differentiating basic colon vs. semicolon use: There are grammatical errors in it, but the actual information on semicolons vs. colons is correct.

*See Kriss Morton’s blog for the first use of a colon. I am adding each blog stop to my own blog (as I go) for convenience:

The second use of a colon is to introduce a list of items, often after the terms the following and as follows—e.g.: For the scavenger hunt, we need the following: rubber duckies, a 1997 quarter, and a bottle of calamine lotion.

Third, the colon formally introduces a fully self-contained quotation. Block-form quotations must take a colon, but if it’s run in with the text, a comma is also acceptable. E.g.: “Einstein said this about the mind: ‘If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?’”

Thank you for reading, and join us tomorrow for the final installment on colons at Alison DeLuca’s blog, Fresh Pot of Tea: We’ll be covering a couple simple uses as well as common errors. The final installment will be lighter next time (promise).


Chryse Wymer is a freelance copy editor and proofreader whose main focus is on indie writers. Her clients have been well reviewed, and one was recently chosen as a top-five finalist in The Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Book Awards in his category: mystery/thriller. For some years, she has been particularly obsessed with William S. Burroughs’s writing, who happened to coin the term heavy metal … her favorite music. You can contact her at, follow her on twitter: @ChryseWymer, or like her on Facebook:


Filed under For Writers, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Chryse Wymer on Colons – Writing Tips

  1. Sorry I’m so late commenting, Chryse. Thank you for joining me today, and for sharing such great information.


    • It’s okay, Alicia. I’m a little late as well LOL

      JoelleWalker, authors often need a figurative whacking; my own experience is that writers are more likely to misuse commas and semicolons though. I think it’s because they’re so underused.


  2. Who knew? And here I’ve been *whacking* my authors severely for even thinking of using a colon without an airtight explanation. As they say, learn something new every day. (delete – tired cliche)


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