Wednesday, December 23, 2009

All I want for Christmas is...

Not my two front teeth. I already have those, but thank you any way.

No, what I want is PROPER GRAMMAR!

That's right folks, the grammar nazi in me is coming out.

Grammar is a pain in the arse, I know. It's annoying to have to remember different rules, tenses, pronouns, adjectives. YUCK! I know. It's boring.

It is important to remember, though, that proper grammar is the foundation for any good story. Now granted, in our modern society, we do actually end sentences in propositions. Even I have done that. Especially when in the context of dialogue, that's fine! I think it's important to remember rules like that, though, so you don't end every sentence on the word "to." Oooh, I just got a shiver. LOL

Grammar does not have to be boring, believe it or not. I'm gonna use a football analogy here, ok? Football is great. It's a fun sport, it's intense. It just rocks. But, there are rules in football, aren't there? Haven't you ever heard of "holding," "unnecessary roughness," and all those other glorious football terms? We've all seen those stupid little yellow flags go flying onto the field. Why? Because the players have to go by the rules.

Writing is OUR game. But we can be called out on a foul if we use improper grammar, people. Just like the players know what they can and cannot do, we need to be aware of the rules of grammar so that we keep our game honest. Fair?

When I was in college 100+ years ago, we got a small spiral bound book. "A Pocket Style Manual" by Diana Hacker. this little book is our play book, folks. You need help with sentence structure, vocab, anything? This book has it! I have held on to it all these years because it is key to writing GOOD stories. I also have a dictionary of synonyms, antonyms and homonyms. Your desk should not be cluttered with reference books. Just have a dictionary, the pocket manual & perhaps the book of synonyms, antonyms & homonyms like I do. Those are really the only three things you should ever use regularly as a writer. Don't dimsiss these play books. They can REALLY help you to improve as a writer.

With the new year fast approaching, make a r4esolution to improve your grammar - and your writing! ;)

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