Tag Archives: colons

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 chrysewymer@yahoo.com, or, for more information, visit: http://ocdeditor.weebly.com/ 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: http://cabingoddess.com/ 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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU0x4Ipj-5Q 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: http://ocdeditor.weebly.com/blog.html

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: http://alisondeluca.blogspot.com/ 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 chrysewymer@yahoo.com, follow her on twitter: @ChryseWymer, or like her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChryseWymer


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