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Home Success Tips for Writers Love Your Grammar

Love Your Grammar

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Grammar is on life support. Editors try to protect her, not to be old fogeys, but to preserve the power she gives writing. We can get used to "alright" instead of "all right" and other examples of the evolution of language. We cannot accept "it's" for "its" or "there" when "their" is intended, because those mistakes mislead the reader. Someone cannot write music like Bach without mastering the technique first.

Punctuation directs phraseology and pacing in reading. Learn to use commas, semicolons and the rest as if you were directing actors in a play on when to stop, pause, wait or whatever. This will help the reader stay involved in the content of the story and not the construct. (And, when an editor sees he will have to find 30 buts and place 30 commas before them, he starts thinking "Maybe I should just go on to the next story.")

Any writer who is willing to spend the enormous time and effort it takes to create a wonderful story out of nothing except imagination should also be willing to spend the time to learn the basics of language and grammar. You owe it to the reader and to your own odds of success to do your best.

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