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Grammar Tips for Writing Fiction

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ReAdSaLoT On November 19, 2017




,
#1New Post! Jul 28, 2009 @ 06:44:23
Grammar Tips For Writing Fiction
What is the difference between a good writer and an excellent writer?

Sure, a writer must have an idea, a plot, characters, interesting dialogue and a whole list of other elements, but I think the difference between good and excellent has to do with mechanics. Punctuation and grammar rules are not set in stone, but they are there for a reason. They are the most basic tools of our craft and should be respected, learned and practiced.

I have heard the argument that grammar is not important because there will be an editor to help sort that out later. This is simply not the case. I am sure you already know this, but the competition is fierce in the publishing world. If you submit a manuscript riddled with grammatical errors and missing punctuation, I can guarantee that an agent or editor will toss your work aside and pick up the next one in the pile to read.

When I started writing fiction, after being out of school for many years, I realized how much grammar I had forgotten or not retained at all. I was pleased to find so many resources online that dealt with the subject of grammar and I took advantage of them, but what I found to be the most help were books on grammar. I searched for older books, newer books, and college textbooks.
My goal was to teach myself to write with proper grammar all the time, so that it that was an automatic thing. It is not helpful to sit down to write a story and be too concerned about getting the rules right or making sure the mechanics are just perfect. The key was to practice. I joined writing groups and made it a point to take up challenges or prompts. I would write a four-paragraph scene, go over my grammar and then submit it to someone who knew more about grammar than I did.

After a few months, I noticed that I was spending less time correcting my grammar during edits and revisions, and I was able to concentrate on word usage, sentence variety and imagery. My grammar may not be perfect but I know that when I send submission package to an agent or editor, that my correct use of grammar will give me an edge on the competition.
If you want to know more, check out this link.
https://www.squidoo.com/Writing-Grammatically-Tips
EDITOR'S WILL NOT FIX YOUR GRAMMAR, THEY'LL THROW YOUR WORK IN THE TRASH.
JR_Sanford On August 02, 2017




Portland (St. Johns), Oregon
#2New Post! Jul 28, 2009 @ 07:02:48
I like books that get right into the thick of things. No fluff or super descriptive adjectives cluttering up the plot. Such as this... "It was a sunny Sunday morning at the Shady Oak Inn during my brisk walk along the pebble ridden path that leads down towards the babbling mountain brook, when I noticed a Monarch Butterfly that must have just found it's way out of a withering old cocoon, meandering from flower to dew dropped flower in search of it's first taste of life as a butterfly, when all of a sudden, I spotted a body of a man that must've been laying there for at least a week by the looks of his tattered clothes."

It seems like there are lots of "authors" (out there) that feel the need to go overboard with too much ambiance la-de-da.

One book I thought is well written is "Illusions: Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah" by Richard Bach. It is written in First Person and is captivating from Page One.

I agree though, grammar, syntax, and spelling are extremely important if you want to write a book and get it published.

J.R.
PScott On August 27, 2009




Pleasant Hill, California
#3New Post! Jul 29, 2009 @ 06:09:58
You should read Ulyysees by James Joyce. There is one section which has about 20 pages without a comma or a full stop.
Sure grammar is important but when you read Fitzgerald or Papa you realize they are able to push grammar to back stage.
If you can convey so much meaning and visualization in your writing a reader including a potential publisher will gloss over poor (not wrong) grammar.
ReAdSaLoT On November 19, 2017




,
#4New Post! Jul 29, 2009 @ 06:12:39
@PScott Said

You should read Ulyysees by James Joyce. There is one section which has about 20 pages without a comma or a full stop.
Sure grammar is important but when you read Fitzgerald or Papa you realize they are able to push grammar to back stage.
If you can convey so much meaning and visualization in your writing a reader including a potential publisher will gloss over poor (not wrong) grammar.


True but you have to get noticed first. Papa, Joyce and Fitzgerald were giants but everybody has to start somewhere.
twilitezone911 12 minutes ago




Saint Louis, Missouri
#6New Post! Jun 16, 2017 @ 21:10:06
my english teachers in high school, i didn't go to college.

my english teachers thought i had best chicken scatching for handwritting, they ever saw. most couldn't read my handwritting at all. they asked always ask me to print.

they always told me that always spelled my name right.

i did learned grammar, every time, i had a meeting with my teachers in private. they looked at my paper and started to shake their heads at it. let me tell you had a long private talk with my teachers.

of course, my papers had a lot of mistakes, so i usually correct them. my teachers like my ideas for my essays, but my teachers tried or didn't they have the time to teach me proper grammar, that i should have been learning.

one thing, i trying by watching and read other member's posts to see how their grammar is, and learn from that. i am lazy using capital letters, that because my brilliant mind doesn't have time for little things like periods, capital words, all the grammar stuff, you all waste your time in your posts.

don't worry. someday, you be a great writer like me. i know you workship from far, yes, i can make time for women members, if they need private lessons to learn how they can write like me.

i will leave you some advice that i learn to be a writer.

i know how to spell my name right!
Jennifer1984 On November 17, 2017
Meh..!!





Penzance, United Kingdom
#7New Post! Jun 17, 2017 @ 17:47:28
Twilight..... there are probably several grammatical and spelling errors on every lone of your post above, but I always enjoy reading your comments.

Readsalot makes a valid point about the importance of good English but the great thing about my beautiful language is that it's flexible. Sure there are rules and they're important but mostly we don't mind if they occasionally get a bent a little if it helps the story flow more easily or it keeps us interested.

When I was studying for English Language GCSE more years ago now than I care to think about, I found a lovely little book called i before e (except after c) . The title of the book is actually one of the first spelling rules we learn in school. I think I picked it up around the age of 6. It's a good rule in general but it certainly isn't hard and fast.

i before e except after c
or when sounded like a
as in neigh, sleigh and weigh.



This mnemonic is drummed into us as small children and it works in a sentence like "Receive a piece of Pie." But all rules have exceptions just to make life interesting and keep us on our toes. Numerous exceptions to the rule include words like neither, height, leisure and weird.

The English language is full of complexities and contradictions which can make spelling and pronunciation of some words difficult to predict. Here is a little poem that cleverly highlights a number of problem words that anybody who wants to be accurate in their use of English should be aware of:

I take it you already know,
of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, lough and through?
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
to learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a beautiful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird,
And dead; it's said like bed not bead -
For goodness sake don't call it deed
Watch out for meat and great and threat
They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.
A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for their
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear.
and then there's does and rose and lose -
Just look them up - and goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart -
Come, come, I've hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive!
I learned all this when I was five!



Please correct my spelling and grammar as you wish. It will be interesting to read how many mistakes I made.

American spelling and punctuation does not apply. The language is English. The clue is in the name.
twilitezone911 12 minutes ago




Saint Louis, Missouri
#8New Post! Jun 17, 2017 @ 18:42:18
@Jennifer1984 Said

Twilight..... there are probably several grammatical and spelling errors on every lone of your post above, but I always enjoy reading your comments.

Readsalot makes a valid point about the importance of good English but the great thing about my beautiful language is that it's flexible. Sure there are rules and they're important but mostly we don't mind if they occasionally get a bent a little if it helps the story flow more easily or it keeps us interested.

When I was studying for English Language GCSE more years ago now than I care to think about, I found a lovely little book called i before e (except after c) . The title of the book is actually one of the first spelling rules we learn in school. I think I picked it up around the age of 6. It's a good rule in general but it certainly isn't hard and fast.

i before e except after c
or when sounded like a
as in neigh, sleigh and weigh.



This mnemonic is drummed into us as small children and it works in a sentence like "Receive a piece of Pie." But all rules have exceptions just to make life interesting and keep us on our toes. Numerous exceptions to the rule include words like neither, height, leisure and weird.

The English language is full of complexities and contradictions which can make spelling and pronunciation of some words difficult to predict. Here is a little poem that cleverly highlights a number of problem words that anybody who wants to be accurate in their use of English should be aware of:

I take it you already know,
of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, lough and through?
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
to learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a beautiful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird,
And dead; it's said like bed not bead -
For goodness sake don't call it deed
Watch out for meat and great and threat
They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.
A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for their
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear.
and then there's does and Rose and lose -
Just look them up - and goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart -
Come, come, I've hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive!
I learned all this when I was five!



Please correct my spelling and grammar as you wish. It will be interesting to read how many mistakes I made.

American spelling and punctuation does not apply. The language is English. The clue is in the name.



rose is by any other other mane.

this poem is would helpful to me, are similar to , when i was much younger as a kid.

actually, the poem is a different approach how i learned, it should been taught me then.

cough, how words can you used that similar to cough like rough, you like to sound the words and spelling them right, and then make a sentence out.

you have a cough like you come down with a rough cold. or you come down with a rough cold, you need to lie on a conch. you need to be take a care by a beautiful british nurse, that lousy boyfiend of hers will come over and shoot you dead.

with this paragraph, you make up words that rythme " ou ". you can create in storylike ideas.

i before e except y. or other vowels tricks that i never remember thinking about them, when i writing.

most english grammar, wasn't much prursuit by teachers. in sense, they did sometime gout out of their way to help me in. they were more concern about my spelling, which i had learning abilities to give me mental blocks in spelling.

the teachers gave us ten words to remember we studied. the next day, or a week to learn them. i took me hours and even days , to study them. i understood the words in their meaning. when the test came around, the teacher said the word. i have problems trying to remember the letters in the word. i usually get two to four right, but other words maybe few more right. but the other words, i guess at and make up my own words up.

then i read a lot of comic books, when i was six through eight, i read comic books to learn to read. before then i just look at pictures in comic books and other books. i read the words that i knew or pronouce, sometimes i make my own words, i thought that fit the picture.

i don't really remember i was really little, up to six than anybody read to me. i always had a lot of books that i owned, i just looked at the pictures, and used my imagination to figure out the storyline.

in high school, i read a lot of books on my own, because i love to read and it really interested me. the fact like i said before, the teachers help me the best, they can. but, i learned almost everything on my own in my education.
Jennifer1984 On November 17, 2017
Meh..!!





Penzance, United Kingdom
#9New Post! Jun 18, 2017 @ 05:23:00
All I can say is that, with a condition like (presumably) Dyslexia to contend with, you've done brilliantly well. Much kudos for that.

I can see what your teachers were trying to do with their method of giving you a number of words to learn, but I feel you might have been better served if they'd given you books like those of Dr Seuss to read. As a child I loved The Cat In The Hat and Green Eggs And Ham. Seuss used the brilliantly simple technique of writing stories with a relatively small number of words that would be repeated over and over.

Repetition is often the key to learning any language. Comic books are useful too if they have consistent themes.

Mnemonics - little memory tricks - are highly useful too, but are usually applied more to the learning of lists. We used them a lot in school. For instance, in History it was easier to learn the order of British royal dynasties Norman, Plantagenet, Lancaster, York, Tudor, Stuart, Hanover, Windsor, by using the mnemonic No Point Letting Your Trousers Slip Half Way. It made memorising the list much easier.


Sometimes a little rhyme would help. This in chemistry class helped to tell the difference between the chemical formulas for water and sulphuric acid:

Johnny was a chemist,
but Johnny is no more,
for what he thought was H2O
was H2SO4


As for Shakespeare.... Well, the Immortal Bard used the language better than anybody else. I loved your quote about Juliet's introspection on the balcony. Who couldn't be moved by this:

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.



We can all learn and improve our written language skills by learning a few tips and techniques but nobody expects a Shakespeare on TFS, mate. Just keep on posting as you do and you're fine.
twilitezone911 12 minutes ago




Saint Louis, Missouri
#10New Post! Jun 18, 2017 @ 07:42:48
@Jennifer1984 Said

All I can say is that, with a condition like (presumably) sand analogyto contend with, you've done brilliantly well. Much kudos for that.

I can see what your teachers were trying to do with their method of giving you a number of words to learn, but I feel you might have been better served if they'd given you books like those of Dr Seuss to read. As a child I loved The Cat In The Hat and Green Eggs And Ham. Seuss used the brilliantly simple technique of writing stories with a relatively small number of words that would be repeated over and over.

Repetition is often the key to learning any language. Comic books are useful too if they have consistent themes.

Mnemonics - little memory tricks - are highly useful too, but are usually applied more to the learning of lists. We used them a lot in school. For instance, in History it was easier to learn the order of British royal dynasties Norman, Plantagenet, Lancaster, York, Tudor, Stuart, Hanover, Windsor, by using the mnemonic No Point Letting Your Trousers Slip Half Way. It made memorising the list much easier.


Sometimes a little rhyme would help. This in chemistry class helped to tell the difference between the chemical formulas for water and sulphuric acid:

Johnny was a chemist,
but Johnny is no more,
for what he thought was H2O
was H2SO4


As for Shakespeare.... Well, the Immortal Bard used the language better than anybody else. I loved your quote about Juliet's introspection on the balcony. Who couldn't be moved by this:

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.



We can all learn and improve our written language skills by learning a few tips and techniques but nobody expects a Shakespeare on TFS, mate. Just keep on posting as you do and you're fine.



thank you, jennifer. yes, dyslexia was part of my read problem. only comphrehension that i was told. today, i still have problems writing an outline with reading materials that are college material's format. that why i never went to college, because this reading problem.

in my 20's and 30's, i read science books and articles, that i can understand basely things in science. somehow, i can picture what i read, and i understand general idea what they are talking about.

i can explain the idea what i understand the general principal of what it is.most people i told what i read they weren't that interesting, what i was talking about.

i can read not have problems with read with letters. dyslexia ( i think where it come from. ) i have mental blocks with someone said out loud tell numbers to solve math problems. my mind have problems focus with numbers, i lost my train of thought of the math problem. i go blank.

i tried to learn to be cashier, not use a cashier machine at first. it was a test for me. the person, who gave me the test. the person put dollar bills and coins in envelopes, with a some sort of money figure on the front of the envelope print on it.

i open the envelope, in it was coins and different kind of dollar bills in it. i was told put in the money in my hand. look at the amount of the price, what on the front of the envelope had on it.

then i had to put the same amount on the table, that the envelope said on it.

whatever this learning problem, i have is, i have problems the feeling of coins in my hands, even texture of bills in my hands. i had to ten envelopes, i only got four right out of ten. i fail the test.

but i don't have problems give the right change to paid some at store, when i buy something.

something about my hands with small things like the textures of things, i can't feel them at time. when i starting an butcher, i had problems holding a little things in my hands, naturally drop them out of my hand. if i don't keep focus the object in my hand, literally fall out of my hand. somewhat it had to with nerves with stress problems and other with eye and hand coordinations that deals with my learning disabilities.

i always seem to have mental blocks and sensations in touching things. but my doctors told me that normal for me, not worry about it. i wouldn't be cashier despite my math problems, i would problems touch the keys on the cashier machine. i think press the right keys in my head, but i am not.

anyway, i have learn to read dr. seuss, when i younger. actually, i had all the books, and read a lot of times. jennifer, you are right, that repetition is the best teacher.
Jennifer1984 On November 17, 2017
Meh..!!





Penzance, United Kingdom
#11New Post! Jun 18, 2017 @ 11:51:42
Well, after reading that I admire your perseverance and determination. There are some who would give up and adopt a "Poor Me" attitude but it seems you're made of sterner stuff. Good on you for that.

Those of us who don't suffer such difficulties cannot comprehend what it must be like. But you get your point across and that's the important thing.

Even those who are renowned for their quotations and writing had their struggles. Winston Churchill was a duffer at school and only ever had poor marks, especially in English. He struggled continuously, and yet, as an adult he won a Nobel Prize for literature and his wartime quotations, which inspired a nation, are now the stuff of history. Not bad for a man who said the only thing he ever got from an expensive and privileged education was the ability to construct a sentence.

Getting back to the OP's message, I don't think many editors so blithely dismiss manuscripts. I'd suggest that those who do are fools. Perhaps some may return a manuscript for Proof Reading. If you couldn't do that yourself, then a good proof reader may cost a few bucks, but what they do could be worth far more in the long run.
twilitezone911 12 minutes ago




Saint Louis, Missouri
#12New Post! Jun 18, 2017 @ 13:04:41
most publishing companies ( that i heard ) will take advantage of neive of you try to get in their business.

in my 20's, i was thinking a writting science books on my theories that with bermuda traingle and other natural phenomenas. i never wrote the book, because basely i never could figure out anyway to solve my theories's conclusions. it was a big deal to me at time, then mature, and the time, and how i was risks at the time in may ways. the price price was too high to take the risk. i have still have my theories in my closet. even, my theories are correct,i couldn't explain how knowing the wisdom that i came up with the theories. especially, without the math behind it, i am correct, it would be the level of einstein's genius. my conclusions are basely that we could a better control or stopping global warming. but my conclusions, we don't have technology yet or breakthrough science to reach it. mankind has ran out of time for my ideas to work. what you see with how governments runs now, the moral issue to does mankind deserves my wisdom?

anyway, i decided about close about thirty years ago, to get a package from a publishing company ( that i still have it. ) that gave how to any kind to make a book. even tell how to make a format or outline how to make developed and put together a scientific book of any kind of science. or any kind of subject to write a book.

if you really get rid off by trusting the company publishing your book. i would mind paid the company to put my book and bind it. make some copies of my book, depending how they cost. it get dice, if you trust the company to put the books in bookstores. they is a big change you are going to get rip off. you have to paid the company as retainer or some sort of commission. i am not going to take the change, until i know my theories are on the right track. i would someone maybe like washington university in st. louis in science department. that would take the time to look at it, and give me the advice to pursuit it.

i need creditable to even consider let the public know about my theories. in conclusion, my theories are over my head now to explain to any scientists. i have a book of diagrams of my drawings to explain my theories that i still kept for my interests.

i realized over the years, science is my hobby like to study and use imagination to come with my ideas on the science subjects that i read. i like to come up with crazy posts that members read them, and think to themselves, and said " o-kkk! ". i am laughing with them.
ReAdSaLoT On November 19, 2017




,
#14New Post! Jul 15, 2017 @ 06:46:03
Since I posted this in 2009, I've changed a bit. I just happened to see this by chance. Many of the best writers are learning challenged.

25 of them https://www.bachelorsdegreeonline.com/blog/2011/25-famous-authors-with-learning-disabilities/
Including Agatha Christie and Jules Verne
The "Twilight Series" and "Hunger Games", books were terribly written, so what do I know? It's a lot about the story line and public appeal, but it still needs some proper format.
I address this on my site, so I won't repeat it.
https://jazzwritesandsingsforyou.com/about-writing.html
If you have great ideas, but are unsure of your skills, get a proofer.
Unsolicited manuscripts rarely get very far and pass through many readers before getting to the ,"Big Guns".
I'm a published writer now, but don't proof me, I rarely do.
Never give up a dream, my poems on here were stinkers. I know better now through a lot of hard work, but it was a start.
Dr. Seuss got rejected all the time.
Catchmeoutside On July 21, 2017




London, United Kingdom
#15New Post! Jul 21, 2017 @ 23:18:09
Don't bother. It will probably fail anyway
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