Archive for August 21st, 2008

O Grammar, Where Art Thou?

Aspiring writers send me all sorts of stuff to read through. Here’s one from a writer who felt that what he had written was good.

“I didn’t knew if I could trust him. He was an addict and a liar and, though he assures me he wasn’t using again, his constricted pupils told me otherwise.”

And then he wonders why his work is rejected time and again?

This sentence can be used as dialogue if you have a character who speaks like that. But as a part of the main narrative, it’s a strict no-no.

It’s not enough that you have a gripping story. If your manuscript if full of such basic grammatical errors, no editor is going to approve it. Who wants to sift through reams and reams full of such errors?

Let’s face it, if you want to be a published writer, one of the most essential things is to write correct English. Good English is desirable but correct English is more important. You can’t say stuff like, “I wants to be a writer” and hope to be taken seriously. Or misspell words like ardourous. It’s either arduous or ardent. Decide which. What is it that you want to say – difficult or passionate?

Your sentence construction, vocabulary and spelling have to be solid. I found this list on the web and found it hilarious. As a test, check it out. If you can find out what’s funny about it, you’re on your way to becoming a writer.

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