I need some help in my writing and I would like some help. I am having trouble with a couple of what I think are pretty easy things, but I just cant seem to get them. First of all the semi-colon and colon where to use them, how to use them, when to use them? Second does the comma come before or after but? can you do both to emphasize something and if so where would it be best do use them both? Third Comma's how to use them effectively to separate sentences, do they come before or after and, and when do you know the a sentence should not be stopped with a comma but with a period ( eliminating run on sentences ) ? Fourth how do you know when to write a story in past or present tense? is there some indicator? And is their a good way to prevent switching between them when writing? And finally, something that has been bugging me for a long time ( at least since Stolen Art ) when do you know your using to much metaphors and similes ? ... If you don't know what I am talking about there take a quick look here http://writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=31332 and I think you will understand what I am asking. Thank you in advance for your help.