Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Grammar Guide
Complement vs. Compliment

When indicating that an item completes a set or pair, or is an addition to something to complete it, you want to use the word complement.

In Sandy Lender’s novel Choices Meant for Gods, Chariss’s skill at healing complements her wizard’s skills at using the geasa.

This sentence implies (correctly) that the wizard Hrazon in my fantasy novel doesn’t have great healing skills (and wizards in the world I’ve created don’t), but that’s not a problem because his ward, Chariss, does have great healing skills. Her skill set complements or completes – is an addition to – Hrazon’s skill set so that the two of them are a formidable pair when together.

When indicating that an item is a form of flattery or a way to offer a polite word to someone, then you want to use the word compliment.

In Sandy Lender’s novel Choices Meant for Gods, Nigel Taiman offers Chariss many compliments on her lovely form and graceful demeanor before she realizes he’s interested in courting her.

This sentence portrays the flattery inherent in the word compliment.

An easy way to remember which word to use is to look at the spelling, specifically in the second syllable. In the word “complement,” you can see the word “complete,” and thus can remember its meaning. The word “compliment” is the correct one to select if your purpose is to get someone to dance with you.

(Sandy Lender has been an editor in the magazine publishing industry for fifteen years and is the author of the new fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods, available from

“Some days, I just want the dragon to win.”

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