Grammar and Your Story
There are some of us who write that aren't grammar savvy. A simple sentence can be twisted into a train wreck of words and a story into a grammatical nightmare. So I would like to take this time and be honest with you guys. I am not one of the grammar savvy. I'm not going to get into the reasons why at this point, but do know the the words I type may not be in the exact order as they should be. My comas are misplaced or non-existence. I may even leave a word of two out. I may even have the intention of using one word but use another instead. All in all, I feel really funny about doing this. However, I'm use to doing things that make me uncomfortable and hopefully this will come off informative and not a writing disaster.
In the first part of this, I'm just going to give you guys some basic grammar related story writing tips. In some of the aids listed below my tip section, they may list the exact same things. If it's repeated, then think of it as important.
Writing precise and clear grammar is important because it helps convey what your are writing clearly. However, that doesn't mean that a grammatically clean story means it is prefect. Grammar is just one of the many parts that is needed to write a harmonious piece.
There are some basic things that you can do to help out.
Use a spell checker- This helps out, it a tool not the solution to writing a grammatically clean piece. Most word processors have one, even free ones. Abi-word, Open-Office, and Libre-Office all have one. If you post to DA and your word processor doesn't, most web browsers do have one as add-on. Firefox and Opera do. Generally, I check as I go. Those red lines annoy me. If I do have a misspelled word, I will try and spell it out before I sink to using a spell checker. However nothing replaces your eyes. Just because you misspelled a word doesn't mean that it isn't a word. So check through to see if you have misplaced words staring you in the face.
Don't use chat speech, unless it is story related- I don't think I have to explain this. I rarely come across this but there have been times that I have. Even though novel writing isn't say as formal as essay writing but a few of the same rules apply. No use of chat speech is one of them. Even if you are writing a Fan-fic, same rule applies. I know it seems easier quicker but it does disrupt the flow of a story. Example, this, “Ty, ttyl.” If I had a read a piece full of that, I would lose my mind. I'm not by the way, chat speech savvy either.
Don't automatically post fresh writing- I'm guilty of this because I get so excited and wish to share immediately. Fresh writing is generally full of mistakes. A writer has what I call, writing blindness after they first write something. They are less likely to see an error. Most writers don't write perfectly the first time, so check afterwards. Wait for maybe a few hours or wait until the next day after fresh feeling has floated away. I also recommend checking a document at least twice but not in succession.
Don't use a Grammar checker- I debated this in my head over and over again. Earlier in writing, I was tempted to say use then with caution but at this point in time, I'm going to say no. They can be helpful in catching some errors. Most of the time, they are unreliable and somewhat confused in what they consider an error. I found many tend to pass by something blaring and point out something that isn't an error. Basically it's a computer program working with a strict set of parameters and languages aren't made with that same structure. Just don't use them, it will save you a lot of fighting.
Invest in a good grammar reference book/find a good resource online- I have one, that I can at least understand but what works for me, may not work for you. They sell them in book stores, Amazon, and half.com. There are some which are a wall of tiny text fitting on a page but the best ones are the one that give examples. If you aren't happy with a book, there are plenty of place online that offer good references on grammar. That brings me to the next part.
Below are writing resources that I have found/given. A lot I didn't even touch on because there are many articles, many sites and some are great deal of them because some are good and others aren't. I tired to find the ones that gave the clearest information possible in a clean manner. You can go through the sites if you want but for someone them I tried to pick out what writers might find helpful. There are more on some of the sites but I wasn't about to link the entire site.
Writing Resource's For Writer's
Purdue Online Writing Lab:(Thank you ~linaket)owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/
-Links of interest-
-Sentence Variation owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/res…
-Subject Verb-Agreement owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/res…
-Verb Tenses owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/res…English Grammar
-Word Choice www.grammarerrors.com/category…
Helpful DA Resources:
Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 1 Writing Tips Grammar pt1
Part one: Parts of Speech
Now that you know how to use a comma and structure a quote, lets really get our hands dirty! Because all those commas and quotes and hard stops dont mean a thing if you have weak grammar. Grammar is huge. Theres a lot of it, so this will only be a blitz course, covering a lot in a small space. Hopefully, you already know most of it, though.
Parts of Speech
Thats right. Were doing sentence diagramming in this lesson. Youre going to need to know the difference between an adjective and an adverb later on, so this seems the logical place to start.
A sentence needs three things to make it a sentence. It needs a subject, a verb, and it needs to be a complete thought.
The subject is usually, but not always, a noun, a proper noun, or a pronoun.
Nouns: Nouns are something physical. Look to your left. What do you see? Thats a noun.
° Please pass me that book.
Proper Nouns: Proper nouns are exactly what
Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 2 Writing Tips Grammar pt2
Part two: Tense of the Narrative, and Plural and Singular Nouns
Tenses: No, were not talking about a hard day at work, but rather verb tenses. What, basically, is the time-direction of your narrative? Is the chronicler telling about something that has already happening, is happening, or will eventually happen?
In most works of fiction, the narrative is in past tense. Its already happened. Occasionally, youll find a book in present tense its happening now, as youre reading it and these are usually of the pick your own adventure sort. The ones where you dont read about the knight in shining armour, but rather, you are the knight in shining armour and the choices you make determine whether you rescue the princess or if the evil wizard turns you into a newt. Ive never seen a book written in future tense it will happen, but it just hasnt happened yet but if you
Writing Tips - Grammar, pt 3 Writing Tips Grammar pt3
Part three: Cases and Grammar Nazi Nit-Picks
Cases are, in a sort, ways of conjugating a noun that is, defining its role in a sentence. Kind of. Not really. Well, sort of. Its a bit swimmy, because we dont really have them in the English language. Well, thats a lie. We do, but theyre not very prominent. Despite this, were going over them anyway. Why? Because theyre big in some foreign languages and extinct languages. Why do we care? Because there will be a lesson on foreign and extinct languages in the future. But dont worry; we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Those who couldnt give a pair of fetid dingos kidneys about adding foreign languages into their stories can feel free to scroll down the page to the next bit, which is a good one, and talks about Grammar Nazis.
Nominative: Sometimes known as subjective, because it indicates the subject.
° I am tired.
SPELLING and GRAMMAR ~ SPELLING and GRAMMAR ~ Spelling and Grammar
SPELLCHECK TYPOS vs MISPELLED WORDS POSSESSIVE NOUNS and HOMOPHONES CONTRACTIONS and ALTERNATE SPELLINGS ILLEGITIMATE WORDS INTO vs IN TO WHO vs WHOM, WHO'S vs WHOSE I BEFORE E, EXCEPT AFTER C MORE, LESS, or -ER
This piece is the first in a series of works that offer writing refreshers, guidelines, tricks, and tips, a sort of writer's guide to the "do"s and "don't"s of writing. The purpose of this, and any of the following pieces, it to educate, refresh the memory, and clear the confusions surrounding many common English spelling and grammar errors. No offense is intended, and some bias is present in the text concerning modern affairs not directly related to the subject matter but offered as one interpretation and/or consideration.
= SPELLCHECK =
An Unkindness of COMMAS An Unkindness of Commas
I SUCK at commas big-time. I tend to pull a "Mark Twain"; I sprinkle them in wherever to break up the monotony of the sentence. This article is my attempt to hammer the rules into my brain.
An Unkindness of COMMAS
What the heck are Commas for, anyway?
Besides abusing the sanity of the writer, the comma exists to help readers organize information in a sentence. It makes all the stuff the author is trying to say easier to swallow. Without them, sentence bits and pieces collide into one another causing confusion; rather like a train-wreck, though not nearly as exciting.
Just in case you'd like to know who made up all these comma rules, I got most of them from Strunk & White's "Elements of Style" the grammar handbook used by every publishing house in America, and a few overseas. The rest came from my editors.
To get a good idea of how commas work, let's take a look at what they are supposed to do -- and some major
Something to Prevent Insanity from Reading this all:
Sentence Structure for FICTION Sentence Structure for Fiction
On Basic Sentence Structure for Fiction
(Grammar Nazis BEWARE!)
Everything I ever learned about writing Fiction DIDN'T come from school; not even college. In fact, the way one writes fiction is almost the complete opposite of everything I learned in school about writing.
In order to make my stories crystal clear in my readers' imaginations, I write in precise Chronological Order, in the order events actually happen, PLUS in the order that the eye sees it.
Case in point, when describing a character, I describe them from top to bottom, in the order that the eye notices them. Face, hair, upper body, arms, hands, then lower body, legs, feet, then over all impression.