Why I Want to Beat a Grammarian
After finishing my first book, I quickly realized there were many things I didn’t know about writing. Clearly, I can string lines together and make them coherent, even sometimes cohesive. Yet time and time again, comments arose about my grammar. And, to be honest, I was shocked. I’ve taught grammar and language for years now, so to have someone finger my lines or to sometimes full out lambast them was more than mind-boggling. But that’s the thing—most people spend very little time really looking at the details. I taught it, but I taught the fundamentals. When it comes to writing something with a much larger scope, the sentence variation—I hope—will range just as much, too.
In this way, I noticed I needed to brush up on my skills, on the minutia of grammar that so many purported experts flaunt. With modern day advancements, I checked for an e-book that could aid me in my struggle and…came up empty handed.
The large flaw with looking for such a book is there are only two types out there. The first one waxes on and on about how to write a stunning first paragraph, a strong protagonist with deep flaws, and a manuscript lacking POV shifts. All of this is the bedrock for good fiction and…absolutely not what I wanted. The other jumps into the nuts and bolts well enough (Strunk and White) but leaves much to be imagined. It may cover the basics, but there are so many loopholes that how can one feel positive about it all.
That’s when I began to compile the grammar points I happened to stumble across—and I’m not talking about the difference between it’s and its. I mean the glaring errors I found others remarking on in my manuscripts, the errors that no other books adequately explained. And, of course, the best way to learn it is to write it.
So here we are.