Writing Lesson-No6

GRAMMAR IS NOT SET IN STONE

If I were attempting to write a literary novel matching the genius of Shakespear  (If he did in fact write, but that’s another story for another blog), you would expect my grammar and sentence structure to be written in a way that would make any English Professor proud. The reality is, as I found out, that we can afford to be more lenient if it suits the book you are writing.

The girl sitting on a beach, sipping a Margarita and reading humorous chick-lit, doesn’t care that your past participles and demonstrative adjectives are not perfect. She wants to be entertained. It’s the story and the way you tell it, that will keep her buying your books.????????????????????????????????????????

On the other hand, if you want to write a book of such importance, that it will be part of the reading list in schools, then you had better be perfect with those pronouns (See what I did there?).

I recently asked fellow writers in Authonomy a grammar question, which sparked off a lively debate over 19 pages (the last time I checked). I had given them a sentence, which I had made up for the purpose of my question, but had included ...she laughed at the end of the example.

This started a debate on whether or not someone can laugh and speak at the same time. There seemed to be a 50/50 split across the board.

So in my opinion, perfect grammar should always be your aim, but if it affects the style of your book, just accept that it’s your creative voice speaking and DON’T GET YOUR UNDERWEAR IN A TWIST.

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