Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Writer Wednesday: Grammar Lovers Unite

It's no secret I love grammar. Yes, I'm one of those weird people who enjoys grammar rules—following them and reciting them for others. ;) I grew up with my mother correcting my grammar. I think I had an edge in school because I was so familiar with grammar rules from hearing them at home. So thanks, Mom!

In college I took a grammar course and was probably the only one in my class who actually enjoyed it. My professor even asked me to teach the other students when they had trouble understanding how to convert passive voice to active voice. My trick with grammar is that I come up with my own ways to remember the rules and tricks to correcting common grammatical errors.

Does that mean my manuscripts are free of grammatical errors? I wish! As a writer and editor, I can tell you that editing your own work is impossible. You simply can't catch all your own mistakes. Being that I'm a fast drafter, I make a lot of errors in my first drafts because my fingers are faster than my grammar. ;) But, while some dread revision and fixing their grammar, I love it. Break out the red, purple, and green pens. (Yes, I really do edit in those colors when I'm editing on paper.) Bring on the delete key.

But do you know what I love the most about grammar? Breaking the rules. I know, I know. You're probably thinking, "But, Kelly, you just said you love grammar rules. Why would you break them?" The answer is simple. I write in the first person, which means my narration takes on the MC's voice, just like dialogue takes on the voice of the speaker. And let's be honest. Most people do not speak with perfect grammar. Not even me, a grammar lover. So I get to break the rules while still embracing them. Ah, the beauty of being a writer.

Are there any grammar rules you love to break? Or are there any that you really can't stand?

18 comments:

  1. As I have the permission of my English teacher at school, I try to break as many rules as possible. His words were that all rules could be broken provided the writer was making a valid point.

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  2. When it's our own work, we're too close to it to see errors we've made, hence the need for other readers.

    You're right- most people don't speak in a perfect grammar sort of way, so why write "going to" for a street type who'd say it as "gonna".

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    1. Staying true to the character trumps grammar rules. I agree.

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  3. Because even teachers have misspelled my name I got a kick out of reciting "i before e, except after c"! Then I married a guy named Reid :-) Ha!
    "Have you ate?" and "We was just..." drive me crazy!

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    1. That is funny. :)

      Oh, I'm cringing over your two examples. Eek! Those are just awful. It's safe to say they drive me crazy too.

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  4. I break grammar rules with dialogue. Other than that, I'm usually spot on with grammar.

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    1. Dialogue is where I break rules, too. However, I will allow a first person narrator to break a rule if the rule would force him or her to sound out of character.

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  5. I often break rules, depending on what feeling I'm going for in my writing. I think the one that most often gets broken is where to put a comma. I leave them out for a variety of reasons. :-)

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    1. I love commas. Those rules I don't break. Lol

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  6. I usually break the rules with dialogue. I did it more often in my early days of writing. Most of my characters spoke "street" so there was a lot of bad English in their dialogues.

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    1. So many people feel this way about dialogue. I love that we're all similar.

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  7. I am horrible at grammar! I could use you policing over my shoulder, lol!

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    1. My husband doesn't seem to appreciate it. I might have to make him read your comment. ;)

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  8. Yes, in dialogues. I received a copy of Eat, Shoot & Leaves so reading it now.

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  9. Your mother kept correcting your grammar and you still love grammar? There's a rare confluence right there. :D
    I have no doubt your grammarian talents make you a good editor, Kelly. People tend to love what they excel at. We all like to feel competent. Wish I were...

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    1. Having my mom correct me helped me learn and made grammar easy for me in school, so yes. :) It's easy to love something that comes easily, you know?

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